Mumford & Sons, Adele among winners at Brit Awards
Marcus Mumford, right, Ted Dwayne, 2nd right, and Ben Lovett, of British band Mumford and Son react upon being announced winners of the Best British Group award during the BRIT Awards 2013 at the o2 Arena in London on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
LONDON (AP) — British music put on a brash, confident show at the Brit Awards on Wednesday, celebrating a resurgent industry whose bands and artists are topping charts around the globe.
Winners ranged from established acts such as Coldplay and Adele to world-conquering boy band One Direction, who won in the new Global Success category.
One Direction's Louis Tomlinson called the prize "absolutely mind-blowing."
American artists Frank Ocean and Lana Del Rey were among the non-British winners at a ceremony that embraced the mainstream while rewarding artists with distinctive personalities.
Surfing English folk singer Ben Howard and chanteuse Emeli Sande each won two awards.
Sande was named best British female artist and won the album of the year prize for her debut "Our Version of Events," which has been in the British charts for more than a year. Scotland-raised Sande got a big boost in 2012 when she performed at both the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics.
From left, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, and Harry Styles of British band One Direction seen arriving at the BRIT Awards 2013 at the o2 Arena in London on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
"This is a dream, really," said Sande, who beat Alt-J, Mumford & Sons, Plan B and Paloma Faith to the album prize.
She thanked everyone "who made me feel like I'm part of something much bigger."
Howard was named British breakthrough act and British male artist of the year.
"I'm not very good at speeches," the 25-year-old singer said, accurately — though he may have to get good at it if his career continues to take off.
Long derided as dull, the Brits have become a lively celebration of "Cool Britannia" music and style, featuring a dinner for hundreds of artists and industry figures followed by a televised concert and awards show for thousands of paying fans.
Hard rockers Muse opened the show at London's O2 Arena with a typically robust performance of their song "Supremacy"— all thundering music, dazzling light show and 60-piece orchestra. Other performers ranged from tween-pleasing One Direction to American artists Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake.