Arctic Monkeys sit atop Brits again
The Arctic Monkeys won the Best British Group and Best British Album categories for a second year running at the Brits, the annual British pop music awards, on Wednesday.
They were among a trio of acts that won two gongs at the showpiece ceremony at Earls Court in central London, along with reformed pop group Take That and American rockers Foo Fighters.
Arctic Monkeys, a fourpiece rock band from Sheffield, northern England, stormed onto the worldwide stage with their debut album "Whatever People Say I am, That's What I'm Not", which won Best British Album at the awards last year, and propelled them to Best British Group as well. Their new collection, "Favourite Worst Nightmare", which was released in 2007 and debuted atop the album charts, took home the prize for Best British Album, and once again saw them win the coveted Best British Group award. Take That, meanwhile, picked up awards in the Best Live Act and Best British Single, for "Shine", categories. Foo Fighters dominated the international awards, winning for Best International Group, and Best International Album with "Echoes Silence Patience Grace".
Kate Nash and Mark Ronson won the Best British Female and Best British Male awards, while Kylie Minogue and Kanye West were their counterparts in the international categories. Beirut-born pop singer Mika won the British Breakthrough Act award. The night will have been a disappointment for television talent show winner Leona Lewis, who was nominated in four categories but came away empty-handed. The Kaiser Chiefs, who received three nominations, also left without any awards.
Ronson performed a series of hits on stage with other stars, including troubled soul singer Amy Winehouse, who won five Grammys earlier this month, and performed "Valerie" at the awards on Wednesday. Winehouse's career appeared to hit rock bottom earlier this year, when she was filmed in January apparently smoking crack cocaine and subsequently questioned by police.
Her most recent album "Back to Black", which included the hit single "Rehab", was the best-selling collection of 2007 but was not eligible for this year's Brits because it was originally released in 2006.
Former Beatle and music legend Paul McCartney, who is currently involved in divorce proceedings with his estranged wife Heather Mills, also received an Outstanding Contribution to Music award. For the second year in a row, the awards were broadcast live, after having been shown after a delay since 1989 because of the controversial antics of those attending the ceremony. In 1996, Jarvis Cocker from the band Pulp stormed the stage in protest at Michael Jackson's performance, running around the pop icon and pretending to flatulate.
Two years later, Chumbawumba singer Danbert Nobacon dumped a bucket of ice water over then deputy prime minister John Prescott, while acid house oddballs The KLF fired machine gun blanks at the audience and dumped a dead sheep at the aftershow party following the 1992 awards.
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