NME Awards 2014: Lily Allen beats David Bowie and Kanye West to take Best Solo Artist

But Arctic Monkeys were biggest winners of the night with five awards

Three years after “retiring” from the music industry, Lily Allen crowned her comeback after beating David Bowie, Sir Paul McCartney and Kanye West to be named Best Solo Artist at the NME awards.

Allen, 28, marked her return last November with "Hard Out Here", a song and accompanying video attacking “body image pressures and misogyny in the entertainment industry”.

NME Awards winners list in full

Her cover of Keane's “Somewhere Only We Know”, accompanying the John Lewis Christmas advert, topped the charts.

In the Summer Allen will release Sheezus , her first album since 2009, titled as a “homage” to West’s Yeezus release.

The re-emergence of one of pop’s most outspoken artists was rewarded by readers of the weekly music title in a highly competitive category.

Allen, who also presented Debbie Harry and Blondie with the Godlike Genius award at the O2 Brixton Academy event, said she had retreated from showbusiness in 2011 after finding herself surrounded by “sterile f***ing botoxed idiots”.

Arctic Monkeys added five NME Awards to their double win at last week’s Brit awards. The Sheffield band’s haul included the Best British Group, Album and Live act honours.

Debbie Harry performed Blondie hits after being awarded the Godlike Genius prize (Getty) Debbie Harry performed Blondie hits after being awarded the Godlike Genius prize (Getty)

Drenge, the garage-blues duo namechecked by Labour MP Tom Watson in his shadow cabinet resignation speech, were voted Best New Band. Watson underwent an epiphany when he saw the band play at Glastonbury.

The Derbyshire band - comprising brothers Eoin and Rory Loveless - said they were “not totally overjoyed” at the talent-spotting MP’s endorsement.

Haim, the California band formed by three Californian sisters, struck another blow for siblings after beating Arcade Fire and Vampire Weekend to the Best International Group award.

Californian sisters Haim took the Best International Group award (PA) Californian sisters Haim took the Best International Group award (PA)
Damon Albarn, set to release his first solo album, took the NME Award For Innovation. Sir Paul McCartney was presented with the Songwriters’ Songwriter Award, 51 years after The Beatles performed second on the bill to Cliff Richard at the NME Poll Winners’ All-Star Concert at Wembley.

Fat White Family, an independent label band who have offered to cook dinner for any fans who will help fund a trip to play at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas next month, were given the Philip Hall Radar Award, traditionally presented to an act to watch.

Arctic Monkeys collect the award for Best Live Band (PA) Arctic Monkeys collect the award for Best Live Band (PA)
Debbie Harry
, the first female musician to be given the Godlike Genius prize by NME in its 20-year history, led Blondie through a greatest hits set climaxing with "Heat Of Glass".

NME’s weekly print sales fell below 20,000 this year, with the 62 year-old publication unable to buck a decline across music magazines.

A perceived dearth of great, new British guitar bands may have exacerbated its decline.

Debbie Harry and Lily Allen pose in the winners room (Getty) Debbie Harry and Lily Allen pose in the winners room (Getty)
However, the NME website gets 1.4m users per week, while the digital edition of the magazine sells 1,307 copies a week, and thousands of people attend NME live events and concert tours.

One Direction were relieved of the Worst Band award by The 1975, the slick pop-rock quartet from Manchester, whose self-titled debut album topped the charts. Harry Styles, however, won the Villain of the Year vote ahead of David Cameron.

Morrissey won Best Book for Autobiography , which detailed his bitter disputes with NME over the singer’s comments about immigration.

Johnny Marr presented Arctic Monkeys with their Best British Band prize but was not invited to pick up the award for his absent former Smiths colleague.

Arts and Entertainment

Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy

Arts and Entertainment
And now for something completely different: the ‘Sin City’ episode of ‘Casualty’
TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

    Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

    After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
    The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

    After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

    Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
    Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

    Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

    The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
    10 best sun creams for kids

    10 best sun creams for kids

    Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
    Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

    Tate Sensorium

    New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
    Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

    Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

    He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
    Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

    Remember Ashton Agar?

    The No 11 that nearly toppled England
    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

    'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

    'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

    Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
    Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

    Bettany Hughes interview

    The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
    Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

    Art of the state

    Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
    Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

    Vegetarian food gets a makeover

    Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks