Chart-topping star Emeli Sande was the queen of the Brit Awards tonight after collecting two of the biggest prizes as she declared: “This is a dream.”
The 25-year-old singer was named best British female and carried off the key prize of the night when her debut release Our Version Of Events was named best album.
The ceremony at London’s O2 Arena also saw another double winner with singer-songwriter Ben Howard named best British male and best breakthrough artist.
Gobsmacked Howard, also 25, said: “This is bizarre, isn’t it? I didn’t really expect it. I’m quite stoked to even come to the awards, so to come away with two of these is amazing.”
World-conquering Adele added to her tally of Brits with the best single prize for her James Bond theme, Skyfall.
And she joked about being allowed to finish her speech after being cut off when show bosses ran out of time last year and host James Corden interrupted her.
In a video acceptance from Los Angeles, where she is rehearsing for this weekend’s Oscars ceremony, she said: “I won’t keep you too long because I don’t want to interrupt the best album speech at the end of the night.”
The ceremony saw some racy moments in an otherwise trouble-free event with Sharon Osbourne making a lewd remark about One Direction star Harry Styles’s “willy”.
And Corden – presenting the show yet again – kissed Radio 1 breakfast host Nick Grimshaw on the lips in front of ITV cameras while sitting on his lap.
But the night belonged to Sande – who called herself “a very unlikely pop star” – with her double triumph. Just last year she had picked up the Critics’ Choice prize as one of the year’s top hopefuls.
Since then she has had the biggest-selling album of the year, got married and appeared at both the opening and closing ceremony of the Olympics.
Collecting her best album award – beating Plan B, Mumford & Sons, Paloma Faith and Alt-J – she said: “Wow, I think I’m a very unlikely pop star. You know this is an album I wrote because I didn’t have the confidence to say these things in person.
“For me, so many people have connected with this album and found strength with these words, it makes me feel incredible and it doesn’t make me feel as lonely.
“So thank you everybody who bought this record. You make me feel as though I’m part of something much bigger. This is a dream really.”
Mumford & Sons picked up the award for best British group, two years after missing out on the prize when they were previously shortlisted.
Frontman Marcus Mumford said: “Thanks very much indeed. We weren’t expecting that. We were in a group with Muse and One Direction, so it’s a surprise.”
Boy band One Direction – who performed new single One Way Or Another on a giant pinball machine – took the global success award, recognising their international sales.
The group’s Louis Tomlinson said: “This is absolutely mind-blowing. We have to start off by thanking our fans. They have just been unbelievable and we obviously wouldn’t be here today without them.”
During the show Corden teased One Direction’s Harry Styles, noted for his relationships with older women, by joking that Sharon Osbourne and Annie Lennox were in the building.
Then when Osbourne took the stage later to present a prize, she lowered the tone by asking: “Where is that little Harry Potter – has he got his magic stick with him?
“That’s his willy,” she elaborated.
Styles’s ex Taylor Swift was among the guest performers, dancing in a wedding-style dress to her hit I Knew You Were Trouble, before whipping it off to reveal a slinky lace mini-dress.
She missed out on the best international female prize to Lana Del Rey, who thanked her record label for its help in “turning my life into art”.
Coldplay were declared best live act, beating the likes of Muse, Mumford & Sons and the Rolling Stones.
Adele – who made an obscene gesture after she was cut-off in mid-flow last year - reassured fans that she was not deserting Britain despite spending time in the US in recent weeks.
In her video speech, the singer – who became a mum late last year – said: “I love you all, thank you so much. I can’t wait to come back and see you all. I’m not living here by the way, just in case any of you think that.”
Best international male was Frank Ocean and Black Keys took the international group prize.
Performers during the evening included Justin Timberlake performing Mirrors, while Robbie Williams sang his number one hit Candy. Muse opened the show with a spectacular version of Supremacy featuring a 60-piece string section.
Here is the full list winners for the 2013 Brit Awards:
:: British breakthrough act – Ben Howard
:: British female solo artist – Emeli Sande
:: British group – Mumford & Sons
:: Live act – Coldplay
:: British male solo artist – Ben Howard
:: British producer – Paul Epworth
:: British single – Adele, Skyfall
:: Special recognition award – War Child
:: Brits global success (for international sales in 2012) – One Direction
:: Critics’ choice – Tom Odell
:: International female solo artist – Lana Del Rey
:: International group – Black Keys
:: International male solo artist – Frank Ocean
:: Best album – Emeli Sande, Our Version Of Events