Brit Awards 2014: Lorde and David Bowie among surprise winners as One Direction take Best Video

Lorde beats Katy Perry and Lady Gaga to Best International Female Artist but, typically, David Bowie stole the show without even turning up

The Brit Awards organisers begged Arctic Monkeys to inject some badly-needed rock n’roll attitude into the annual corporate shindig.

And the Sheffield indie band, who had variously snubbed or mocked the event, were rewarded with the Best Group and British Album prizes, after agreeing to open the UK music industry’s glitziest night.

Once derided as a boozy shambles, even Christian Tattersfield, Brits chairman, admitted that last year’s Emeli Sandé-spattered awards had been too dull.

Such is the Brits’ standing as a soulless showcase for bean-counting conglomerates that the biggest controversy before Wednesday night’s show was a heavy-handed PR company’s demand that journalists plug the sponsor’s marketing campaign in their Tweets.

So James Corden, presenting the live ITV show for the final time, was encouraged to go “off the leash” and whip up some spontaneous fun.

The combined US star wattage of Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams and Bruno Mars was imported from the Grammys to add lustre to the live performances at the O2 Arena.

Brit Awards 2014: Winners list in full  

However, whilst Prince interrupted his season of “guerrilla” shows to present the Best Female award, David Bowie, who reclaimed the Best Male Brit he won in 1984 for his surprise return with the acclaimed album The Next Day, declined to end his New York exile and pick up the prize. Winner: British Male Solo Artist (award accepted on his behalf by Kate Moss) Kate Moss collects David Bowie's prize for British Male Solo Artist in his absence

Typically, even in his absence, Bowie, 67, stole the show. Kate Moss strode up the catwalk wearing a 1972 original Ziggy Stardust stage outfit, donated by the singer from his V&A exhibition last year, to accept the Philip Treacy-designed award.

A Bowie fan, who needed his Life On Mars suit let out two inches on a previous assignment, Moss squeezed into the figure-hugging Ziggy leotard.

The overall impact of the show, which concluded with Pharrell and Nile Rodgers jamming through "Happy and Get Lucky", by International Group winners Daft Punk, was to over-shadow a new generation of young British winners who value hard work and musical skills over headline-grabbing outfits and Bieber-style bad behaviour.

Bastille, the London pop/rock quartet, whose single Pompeii became an international hit, won the Breakthrough prize. Lorde beat Perry and Lady Gaga to the International Female award, following the global impact of her single Royals.

 

The 17-year-old New Zealand singer duetted with dance duo Disclosure, but it was Rudimental who beat One Direction to win the Best Single public vote for "Waiting All Night" featuring Ella Eyre. Rudimental played with Bastille on the night.

The collective were inspired by the grime and rap pirate radio stations they grew up with and have become a huge draw on the festival circuit.

Ellie Goulding, a former Brits Critics’ Choice winner in 2010, graduated to Best Female following a series of chart-topping singles ruthlessly targeted at the Radio 1 playlist preference for electronic pop/dance. Winners: British Group Arctic Monkeys with their award for Best British Group. The band also won Best Album

After declining requests to perform, Arctic Monkeys opened the show with "R U Mine?" from their Best British Album-winning AM. In 2008, they mocked the Brits by turning up in country squire attire and delivered a sarcastic acceptance speech.

Now Glastonbury headliners and firmly established as the UK’s biggest rock band, they have made their peace with the event, which offers the group a rare chance to reach an estimated 8 million viewers on prime-time television. The Brit-sceptics are now the first band to win the British Group and Album awards on three separate occasions.

If the most exciting moment of the awards was provided by Bowie’s 42 year-old leotard it’s probably because the Brit Awards can only ever be as earth-shattering as the most popular music currently being downloaded or streamed.

Although streaming services like Spotify offer the music industry a return to profitability, album sales continue to decline and the charts are dominated by a narrow seam of pop-dance tracks, carved by production teams featuring guest vocalists.

Hit songs are increasingly “broken” through video clips, viewed in their millions on YouTube and Vevo, a shift the Brits acknowledged with a revived Best Video award, voted for via social media during the show. The nominees, based on YouTube views across the year, included One Direction and Ellie Goulding. One Direction won the Global Success and Best British Video awards at the Brit Awards 2014 One Direction won two awards at the Brit Awards for Best Video and Global Success

The organisers sought to resolve the One Direction dilemma - how to give the most obvious attraction to younger ITV viewers a prominent role without endorsing their music – by giving the boyband the Global Success award, a prize for the UK artist which has achieved the greatest international sales. They also won the Best British Video award, which was voted for by Twitter.

Artists have been given greater representation on the Brits voting academy, in a bit to produce more “credible” winners. Brits regulars like Sir Paul McCartney and Robbie Williams found themselves excluded this year.

The “outstanding achievement” award, usually given to a music legend, was rested by the organisers.

The Critics’ Choice winner Sam Smith, is set to enter the chart at No 1 with his debut solo single Money On My Mind this weekend.


Watch a backstage interview with Lorde

Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

TV
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in the first-look Fifty Shades of Grey movie still

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, centre, are up for Best Female TV Comic for their presenting quips on The Great British Bake Off

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules

film
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'

film
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>

film
Arts and Entertainment

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book

books
Arts and Entertainment
Panic! In The Disco's Brendon Urie performs on stage

music
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Radio 4's Today programme host Evan Davis has been announced as the new face of Newsnight

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams performing on the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, north London

music
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Mathison returns to the field in the fourth season of Showtime's Homeland

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Crowds soak up the atmosphere at Latitude Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Meyne Wyatt and Caren Pistorus arrive for the AACTA Aawrds in Sydney, Australia

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rick Astley's original music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been removed from YouTube

music
Arts and Entertainment
Quentin Blake's 'Artists on the beach'

Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beach

art
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
    Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

    Edinburgh Fringe 2014

    The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
    Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

    The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

    What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
    Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

    Finding the names for America’s shame

    The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
    Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

    Inside a church for Born Again Christians

    As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
    Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

    Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

    Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
    Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

    Incredible survival story of David Tovey

    Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride