Blunt tops Novellos despite 'bland' criticism

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The Independent Culture

James Blunt picked up two Ivor Novello awards with a defiant message for the critics who label his music "bland".

The singer-songwriter, 32, whose song "You're Beautiful" was voted international hit and most performed work at the awards yesterday, said: "To all those bastards who don't like my music - you're all adults, you can switch your radio off."

The former Household Cavalry officer, honoured along with fellow songwriters Amanda Ghost and Sacha Skarbek, also gave a nod to his somewhat lurid love life which allegedly includes a fling with Tara Palmer Tomkinson. Asked if he ever got sick of hearing the saccharine number, he replied: "I don't have to listen to it, I'm the one who sings it. And it's continued to get me laid."

However, he received a boost from fellow winners the Bee Gees when band member Barry Gibb said: "We like James Blunt. He sounds like us." The Bee Gees became the 10th recipients in 51 years of the highest honour the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters can bestow.

Some fancied winners, such as Coldplay, walked away with nothing from the Ivors, which are seen as the most prestigious of honours by songwriters.

The Kaiser Chiefs took the album award for Employment. The best contemporary song award went to Athlete with "Wires". Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett of Gorillaz, who were also contenders for best contemporary song with "Dare", were songwriters of the year.