Adele, Ed Sheeran dominate at London music's Brit Awards
By Jill Lawless, AP
February 23, 2012, 12:10 am TWN
LONDON--Soulful songstress Adele capped a momentous year of Grammy Awards triumph and medical woes with a double win at the UK's Brit music awards Tuesday, taking prizes for album of the year and best British female solo artist before making an obscene gesture after the show's host cut her acceptance speech short.
Teen-friendly English troubadour Ed Sheeran won two trophies, including British male solo artist, at an energetic ceremony in London.
It has been a dramatic year for down-to-earth north London diva Adele, who based her chart-topping songs of heartbreak on a rocky relationship.
Her sophomore album "21" won six Grammys last week and has sold more than 6 million copies in the United States alone. But Adele also had to undergo vocal cord surgery in November to fix a potentially career-threatening throat condition.
She delivered a powerhouse performance of her single "Rolling in the Deep" to thousands of fans and industry insiders at London's O2 Arena.
"It's been an amazing year," Adele said as she received the female artist statuette from petite pop star Kylie Minogue.
"I feel like a drag queen next to you," joked the winner, who wore a sleek black Burberry gown but towered over Minogue. She thanked her record company "for letting me be the kind of artist I want to be."
The show's host, James Corden, cut off Adele's acceptance speech, prompting the singer to make a rude middle-finger gesture in frustration.
She stressed afterward that it was aimed at industry leaders, not her fans.
"I'm sorry if I offended anyone but it was the suits that offended me," Adele said. "Thank you all very much and thanks to my fans. I don't want them to think I was swearing at them."
The 23-year-old lost out on the British single prize to boy band One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful," but took the coveted album of the year award for "21." The statue was presented by singer George Michael, returning to the stage after suffering life-threatening pneumonia in December.
The ceremony also included tributes to two departed divas, Whitney Houston and Amy Winehouse.
Tousle-haired singer-songwriter Sheeran won prizes for solo artist and British breakthrough act.
The red-headed 21-year-old has been panned as bland by some critics, but has amassed legions of young fans through online releases and a relentless calendar of shows.
Sheeran thanked his manager for transforming a "spotty, chubby ginger teenager" into a Brit-winner.
Long derided as dull, the Brits have become a lively celebration of UK music and style — and this year's awards come with British music riding high around the world.