Blur blitz the Brits with haul of four awards

The indie band Blur swept the board at the Brit Awards last night, winning a record four categories at the British record industry's equivalent of the Oscars.

The all-male band from Essex won best British group, best album, best video and best single following the success of their single and album Parklife, which went to number one last year.

They beat Eternal, M People, Oasis and Pink Floyd to the coveted best British group award. The same bands, with Massive Attack shortlisted instead of M People, were up for best album.

Paul Weller was named best British male solo artist, beating Seal, Eric Clapton, Elvis Costello and Morrissey to the title, while Eddi Reader was awarded best British female artist, from a shortlist including Kate Bush, Des'ree, Michelle Gayle and Lisa Stansfield.

M People won the best dance act category over competing bands Brand New Heavies, Eternal, Massive Attack and Prodigy. The best British newcomer was Oasis, who beat Echobelly, Eternal, PJ and Duncan and Portishead.

Nellee Hooper won best British producer for Madonna's single, Bedtime Stories, currently number one in the US, while the film Pulp Fiction took the prize for best soundtrack.

The ceremony at Alexandra Palace, north London, was attended by Madonna, who performed Bedtime Stories for her first appearance at an awards show. Elton John closed the evening with a performance after accepting the lifetime achievement award.

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