A night of triumph at the Brits for Duffy

Best British album among singer’s awards

Duffy emerged triumphant at last night’s Brit Awards, scooping three awards including best British album.

The singer, who collected the prize for her debut, Rockferry, from her fellow countryman Tom Jones, was also named best female solo artist and best breakthrough act. Her victory was made all the more sweet by the fact that her main rivals, Coldplay, failed to win anything.

Collecting her third award of the evening, a tearful Duffy said: “I just want you to know, for the record, that I’ve travelled around this country back and forth from Wales to London and played my songs to old ladies who are probably watching TV right now. I can’t tell you what this means.”

The annual event in London’s Earls Court was staged on a set made up of giant tents and caravans with performances from U2, Kings of Leon, Take That and Girls Aloud.

Elbow, fresh from their success at the Mercury Prize, were the surprise winners of best British group. Accepting the band’s award from the Hollywood actor David Hasselhoff, the lead singer, Guy Garvey, said: “You wouldn’t believe how long it’s taken us to get this close to the Hoff. But it’s been worth it.”

The American rock band Kings of Leon won two awards in the international category, for best international group and best international album, while the veteran British heavy metal band Iron Maiden won the award for best British live act. Collecting the band’s first award, the Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followhill said: “We’re going to be that cheesy ass band that thanks the Brit Academy and our record label. But it wasn’t just for our good looks, it was for the music as well. Thank you God and thank you mum.”

The American singer Katy Perry won best international female solo artist, with Kanye West winning the male equivalent. Accepting her award with the words “holy shit”, Perry went on to add that she had thought about not turning up. “I just want to thank everybody here in London and the UK. I’m so sick right now, but they said I should show up because something special might happen.”

As expected, the best solo male artist award was won by Paul Weller. The category was widely regarded as a foregone conclusion, after bookmakers reported a huge rush in the number of punters betting on Weller earlier in the week and suspended all betting on the awards.

Girls Aloud won their first Brit award for their single “The Promise”. Collecting the award, an emotional Sarah Harding grabbed the microphone and yelled: “It’s about time!” Take That descended from the roof to perform their hit “Greatest Day”, and Girls Aloud descended in gold leotards for “The Promise”. A raunchy collaborative performance between the Pet Shop Boys, the American singer Lady GaGa and the Killers lead singer Brandon Flowers closed the show.

Earlier, the Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe had accepted an award for their outstanding contribution to music.

Kylie Minogue hosted the event alongside Gavin And Stacey’s Matthew Horne and James Corden. The comedy pair donned red dresses and knee-high leather boots to join Kylie as backing singers in a short but enthusiastic rendition of her hit “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head”.

Brits - the winners

British album – Duffy

Male solo artist – Paul Weller

Female solo artist – Duffy

Breakthrough act – Duffy

British group – Elbow

International album – Kings of Leon, Only by the Night

International group – Kings of Leon

International male – Kanye West

International female – Katy Perry

British live act – Iron Maiden

Outstanding contribution to music – The Pet Shop Boys

Producer – Bernard Butler

New talent – Florence and the Machine