Kaiser Chiefs and James Blunt Big Winners at British Music's Brit Awards
2/16/2006 4:07 PM PT
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Spiky quartet the Kaiser Chiefs and crooning former soldier James Blunt were the big winners Wednesday as the British music industry handed out its most prestigious awards, the Brits.
Blunt, a former British Army captain whose debut disc "Back to Bedlam" was Britain's best-selling album of 2005, took home the awards for best British male and best pop act. But his chart-topper "You're Beautiful" lost out to Coldplay's hit "Speed of Sound." for best British single.
Kaiser Chiefs, whose debut album "Employment" sold more than 1 million copies in Britain last year, carried off three awards. They were named best British group, best British rock act and best British live act.
However, Coldplay beat them to the award for best album for the multimillion seller X&Y.
The foursome from Leeds, northern England, opened the show with their incendiary hit "I Predict a Riot."
The British equivalent of the Grammys, the Brits usually attract a sprinkling of international stars as well as top British acts. Madonna and Prince both attended Wednesday's ceremony at London's Earl's Court arena -- with Prince stealing the show with a performance of his 1980s classic "Purple Rain."
Coldplay, Gorillaz and Kanye West also performed.
Madonna was honored as the best international female thanks to the success of her latest album "Confessions On A Dance Floor."
U.S. band Green Day took home awards for best international group and best international album for "American Idiot" while West took the prize for best international male.
Scottish singer-songwriter K.T. Tunstall, took the applause for best British female.
The ceremony comes at the end of a banner year for British music. Industry statistics released Tuesday showed that British artists accounted for just under half of all albums sold in 2005 -- the highest level since 1998. Six of the year's 10 best-selling albums were by British artists.
The Brit Awards are run by the British Phonographic Industry Ltd., an industry association. Most winners are selected by a vote of more than 1,000 industry members, including representatives from record companies, the media, retailers, record producers, disk jockeys and promoters.