Most stars enjoy giving two fingers to music critics. But Adele has admitted that the writers who told her to raise her game helped her score a double triumph at the Ivor Novello awards.
A tearful Adele claimed the PRS Most Performed Work prize for her break-up inspired "Rolling In The Deep" and was named Songwriter of the Year at the awards, which are valued by artists because they are voted for by their composing peers.
The singer told the Grosvenor House audience in London that she had responded to reviews of her debut album. "The main thing was, the critics said my songs weren't as good as my voice, which I hadn't realised. But I took it on board and now I'm songwriter of the year."
Adele, 24, who sold 18 million singles and albums last year, thanked the critics for "analysing my songs and making me aware."
Female artists dominated the awards, with US singer Lana Del Rey's haunting "Video Games" named Best Contemporary Song. It was co-written by Justin Parker, a former footballer from Lincoln who was told that the melancholy track would never be a hit.
PJ Harvey won Best Album for Let England Shake, her song collection built around themes of bloodshed and battle. Harvey has cited Siouxsie Sioux as an inspiration. The leader of Banshees, who burst on to the punk scene in 1976, accepted the Ivors Inspiration Award.
Ed Sheeran won Best Song Musically and Lyrically for "The A Team", his acoustic portrayal of a young girl's descent into crack addiction and prostitution. The Suffolk songwriter, who mixes acoustic melodies with hip hop beats, penned his song after talking to a prostitute when volunteering at a homeless shelter.
"The A Team" was downloaded one million times in the UK and helped establish Sheeran, 21, as a major new talent. "It was always my goal to get [an Ivor]," he said.Reuse content