Belfast Telegraph

Brit Awards: David Bowie wins best British male solo artist

David Bowie has been named best British male solo artist at the Brit Awards, at the O2 Arena in London, just over a year since his death.

The music superstar receives the accolade for the third time and is the first posthumous winner in the Brits history.

Bowie, who died of cancer in January last year aged 69, also received the Outstanding Contribution to British Music award in 1996.

His final album, Blackstar, which is up for Album of the Year at this year's awards, was released just two days before his death.

Bowie beat grime artists Skepta and Kano, singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka and comeback star Craig David to the prize.

Actor Michael C Hall, who starred in Bowie's Lazarus musical, collected the award and paid tribute to the Young Americans singer.

He said: "If David Bowie could be here tonight, he probably wouldn't be here tonight.

"But since he can't be here tonight I'm here on his behalf, on behalf of his family, to accept this testament to a man beholden to nothing but his own boundless imagination and daring whose ever-expanding artistic vitality simultaneously soothes us and astonishes us... maybe he is here tonight, I don't know.

He added: "I'm honoured to stand before you and acknowledge the potency of his work and if I may also acknowledge that David's kindness and generosity and enthusiasm will forever inspire me to be a better man.

"On his behalf, thank you."

Earlier Emeli Sande had collected the prize for best British Female Solo Artist while indie-pop group The 1975 were named the best British Group.

The Manchester-formed band beat Radiohead, Bastille, Little Mix and Biffy Clyro to win their first Brit Award.

Their win also means the Brits 40-year wait for a girl group to collect the prize continues.

Frontman Matt Healy urged musicians to use their "platform" during the band's victory speech.

He said: "I just wanna say, at the moment, I think people in pop music and in the broader public consciousness are told to stay in your lane, stay in your lane when talking about social issues.

"But if you have a platform don't do that, please don't do that.

He added: "We love you and we're very very honoured."

Comedian Romesh Ranganathan was the first to reference last year's Brit Awards So White controversy, as he told viewers. "I'm here because they heard I listen to grime and they're trying to overcompensate for last year."

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