Paloma Faith scooped a significant success tonight by taking the Brit Award for best female artist, beating previous winner Lily Allen as well as of-the-moment singer FKA Twigs.
The Hackney-born singer, known for her retro style, and whose style varies from showtunes to jazz and funk, has enjoyed a steady rise to prominence through her highly theatrical stage performances.
The “Picking Up the Pieces” singer, 33, released her debut single in 2009 and her first album, Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful, reached number nine in the UK charts.
Her third and latest record, A Perfect Contradiction, has been her most successful to date, including top ten singles “Can’t Rely on You” and “Only Love Can Hurt Like This” which peaked at number 6 in the charts.
Faith, who is performing at the show at London’s O2 Arena broadcast live on ITV, describes herself as a “vehement socialist. I put that down to having a strong moral code.”
Accepting the award, designed by Tracey Emin, Faith said: "I love Tracey Emin and I love women...I'm sorry people have been doing short acceptance speeches but this has been 13 years in the making and I'm going to gob off a bit."
She revealed she'd "been arrested twice" for fly posting in Hackney years ago and now sees her posters at Greenwich station.
The other artists nominated in the category include Jessie Ware and X Factor alumna Ella Henderson.
The Brit Awards, which started in 1977, was watched by an average of 4.6 million on TV last year - significantly down from 9.86 million who watched in 1999.
Madonna performed at the Brits for the first time in 20 years. A late addition to the bill, Kanye West, notorious for interrupting other people’s award ceremony speeches, unveiled a track from his new album and Taylor Swift entertained the industry guests.
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Tonight’s ceremony was hosted by Geordie duo Ant and Dec who have taken over from James Corden after five consecutive years of the Gavin & Stacey star.
The twosome, who usually front ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… are seen as a safe pair hands being no strangers to live television.
Bosses will be hoping they don’t cause controversy after 2007’s event hosted by Russell Brand provoked nearly 400 complaints.
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