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