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Ben Howard wins best British breakthrough act and best male solo artist at Brit Awards 2013


Ben Howard, an artist who found little mainstream success until his inclusion on the Mercury Music Prize shortlist last year,has landed two Brit Awards.

He won the Brit Award for best British breakthrough act and another for for best British male solo artist.

Mercury helped him to gain wider recognition and he has gone on to reach number six in the album charts with debut release Every Kingdom, despite missing out to Alt-J's An Awesome Wave for the Mercury.

Howard, 25, was brought up in Totnes, Devon, and was raised listening to classic records by the likes of Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan.

After a stint studying journalism in Falmouth, he turned to music full-time, and self-released his first EP in 2008.

He went on to sign to Island Records, drawn to the label through its association with late singer-songwriters such as Nick Drake and John Martyn, whom he admires.

Howard has recalled writing songs from the age of around 10. "I was quite an imaginative little kid, I guess. So your standard little love songs turned into your standard adolescent love songs," he has said.

A number of festival appearances last year helped to spread the word, in addition to an appearance on BBC2's Later With Jools Holland and a tour in his own right.