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BATTLE OF BRITS:
BIG WINNERS

UMG U.K. ruler David Joseph and Adele were the king and queen of gongs at the BRIT Awards Wednesday night in London.

Adele, the night’s only winner of multiple awards, took home prizes in the categories of MasterCard British Album of the Year, British Female Solo Artist, British Single and Global Success, delighting her label head, XL's Richard Russell. She closed the show with a powerful performance of “When We Were Young.”

"I didn't know if I would ever come back," she said. "For you all to be so kind to me is so nice."

Lorde’s performance of "Life on Mars?"—with Bowie’s backing band from the late 1990s—followed an instrumental medley of the late singer’s hits—“Space Oddity,” “Under Pressure” and “Heroes” among them— and visual images from throughout his 40-year career. Annie Lennox and Gary Oldman, a longtime friend of Bowie’s, delivered emotional speeches about his musical contributions, adventurous spirit and sense of humor.

Rihanna made her first performance in the U.K. since 2012, singing “Consideration” with SZA and “Work” with DrakeJustin Bieber, Tame Impala and Bjork won the international performer awards. 

The event at the O2 Arena attracted heavyweights of the U.K. industry, among them Sony’s Jason Iley, Universal U.K. boss David Joseph, WMG U.K. chief Max Lousada, Relentless chief Shabs Jobanputra and A&R superstar Nick Huggett.

Overall, Universal scooped five awards and Richard Russell's XL took three, while Warner and Iley's Sony tied for third place with one apiece, alongside indie labels One Little Indian and Modular

In winning best British group, Coldplay becomes the most-honored band in the awards’ 39-year history with nine trophies. 

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