Singer-songwriter Emeli Sande, the voice of the London Olympics, continued her rise to superstardom by winning two of the most prestigious Brit Awards at a ceremony in London on Wednesday.
The Scottish soul singer, who introduced herself to the world with performances at the London 2012 opening and closing ceremonies, walked away with the main prize of best album for “Our Version Of Events”.
Accepting the award, Sande said the recognition had made her “feel incredible and not so lonely.
“Thanks to everybody who let me make the album I wanted to make,” she added. “This is a dream really.”
She also claimed the best British female solo artist award during Wednesday’s ceremony at the O2 Arena.
Tragic singer Amy Winehouse had been in line to receive the prize posthumously, but it was Sande who capped off a tumultuous start to her career by claiming the gong at the biggest night in Britain’s music calendar.
Winehouse, who was found dead at her London home in July 2011, scooped the award in 2007 on the back of her Grammy Award-winning “Back To Black” album.
British pop sensation One Direction also had a successful evening, winning the inaugural award for global success in recognition of their international sales.
Folk rockers Mumford and Sons lost out to Sande in the best album category, but were consoled by being named best British group.
Fellow folkie Ben Howard also ended the night with two awards after winning the Best British solo male and best breakthrough artist prizes.
Other nominees for best male solo artist included Calvin Harris, Olly Murs, Richard Hawley and Plan B.
Ageing rockers the Rolling Stones were shortlisted for best British live act, the first time they have been in the running for an award at the event for 17 years, but lost out to Coldplay.
The O2 audiences saw performances from Robbie Williams, Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift as well as Sande.
Adele’s “Skyfall”, the theme song for the latest James Bond film, was named best single, but the soul star was unable to pick up the award in person.
However, she was able to give an uninterrupted speech by video link, unlike last year.
The star was cut off in mid-flow by host James Corden as she collected the best album trophy, a move which prompted the singer to raise her middle finger at the crowd.
David Joseph, the Brits chairman and chief executive of music giant Universal’s UK arm, said this year’s ceremony needed to “rewrite that wrong”.
(Pictures by John Marshall/JME)