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The Darkness shine brightest at Brits

Story: Jack Foley

AS predicted by many, glam-rockers, The Darkness, were the big winners at this year's Brits, walking off with three awards, for best British album, best British group and best British rock act.

Never one to mix his words, or avoid some bragging, frontman, Justin Hawkins, was typically arrogant in his assessment of the band's achievements, joking that he had to say 'we are probably the best British band'.

He did, however, describe the awards haul as 'a real privilege, a tremendous honour and a real achievement'.

The band was catapulted into the limelight last year, following the release of the debut album, Permission to Land, which sought to put a tongue in cheek spin on the glam-rock thing.

But their triumph in the best British rock act category was Muse's loss, and there were many who felt the latter band deserved the rock prize more.

Of the other big successes on the night, held at London's Earl's Court, on Tuesday, February 17, 2004, Dido won two awards, for best British single, for the bland White Flag, and best British female.

And pop 'sensations' Justin Timberlake and Busted were also double winners, while Beyonce Knowles, who wore £250,000 worth of diamonds on the night, took best international female.

The artist was also one of several live acts on the night, appearing on stage to sing her hit, Crazy In Love, before accepting her prize.

In a ceremony which was more about rewarding mainstream success, than any real indication of talent, singer, Daniel Bedingfield, who remains in New Zealand recovering from a car crash, took best British male, while Fame Academy runner-up, Lemar, won the British urban act award.

One of the most popular awards on the night, however, went to Duran Duran, who received the outstanding contribution to music award.

The award was presented by Justin Timberlake, who credited them with being the only reason he turned up.

Accepting the prize, frontman, Simon Le Bon, said: "This band owes everything to this country and to the great British music scene.

"By presenting us with this award you have validated us. You have also honoured us with a place alongside those who first inspired us."

Of the better award winners, Basement Jaxx took the best British dance act title, while The White Stripes won best international group, and 50 Cent won best international breakthrough act.

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