Retro rockers The Darkness won three honors at the Brit Music Awards, the equivalent of the Grammys, and Justin Timberlake and Dido each took two.
The Darkness, a London-based band, won the best British group, best British rock act and best British album for “Permission to Land.” The glitzy showbiz ceremony was held Tuesday night at Earls Court in west London, hosted by Cat Deely.
Timberlake won the best international male artist award and best international album for “Justified.” Dido won the best British single prize for “White Flag,” a love song said to be about her ex-boyfriend Bob Page, and the best British female award.
“Permission to Land” was inspired by ’70s and ’80s rockers. The Darkness’ music is a throwback to arena rock, and they’re known for their over-the-top stage show.
“This is a real privilege, a tremendous honor and a great achievement ... and I have to say, we probably are the best British group,” Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins told the crowd. “We should thank our collective parents for bestowing on us the gift of rock.”
Hawkins wore a feather-trimmed silver catsuit to perform their chart hit “I Believe in a Thing Called Love.” The set had an underwater Atlantis theme and at the climax, Hawkins was lifted into the air on a flashing neon column.
“Wow, two in one night, thank you,” said Timberlake. “This is awesome. This is only my first record, so you guys stick with me.”
In a videotaped acceptance speech, Dido thanked fans and said: “This is quite a personal song for me. It’s not an easy song to write or to sing, and that’s what makes this even more amazing.”
Other winnersBusted picked up two awards: best British breakthrough artist and best pop act.
The White Stripes were named the best international group, American rapper 50 Cent took the best international breakthrough artist prize and Basement Jaxx won the best British dance act award.
Duran Duran was given an award for outstanding contribution to music. They performed a medley of their greatest hits after receiving the honor from Timberlake.
Beyoncé won the best international female award. She thanked her British fans, saying: “I think of this as my second home.”
The best British male solo artist award went to Daniel Bedingfield. The singer couldn’t pick up his honor because he was in New Zealand recovering from a car accident.
The Black Eyed Peas, Busted and Beyoncé were among the performers. Beyoncé appeared in a white Roberto Cavalli dress and $475,000 worth of diamonds.
Introduced by hip-hop act OutKast, she appeared on stage in a puff of smoke to sing her hit “Crazy in Love.”
She gasped in mock horror when a cheeky male dancer flashed his Union Jack boxer shorts at her.
50 Cent appeared in a spoof video about the time he was detained by customs officials at Heathrow Airport before coming on stage to perform “In da Club.”