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Arcade Fire, Bieber win Brit Awards

LONDON - It's turning out to be a very big week for Arcade Fire.

LONDON - It's turning out to be a very big week for Arcade Fire.

Two days after pulling off an upset to win the top trophy at the Grammy Awards, the Montreal rockers won two prizes at the Brit Awards on Tuesday.

In the best international group category, they beat out Black Eyed Peas, Kings of Leon, the Script and Vampire Weekend. They also won best international album for "The Suburbs."

''We want to thank all the British bands over the years that just completely changed our lives — from New Order to David Bowie, to The Clash, Culture Club ... and Depeche (Mode), The Smiths, every band that basically made us want to play music,'' said singer Win Butler.

''So, thank you Britain. Thank you so much for honouring us.''

He also alluded to the puzzled cries of "Who?" from some quarters that greeted the band's victory at the Grammys, by advising people unfamiliar with the group to "check it out on Google."

Canada's Justin Bieber also won the international breakthrough act award.

Dapper London lads Plan B and Tinie Tempah were popular local winners at the Brit music awards. Tempah, a 22-year-old product of London's dubstep scene who released his first album, "Disc-Overy," last year, won trophies for British breakthrough act and British single, for "Pass Out."

Dressed in a snazzy white dinner jacket and black-rimmed spectacles, Tempah dedicated his best single award to "U.K. music, peace and love."

Plan B — a hip-hop artist who changed direction and hit the charts with the Motown-influenced concept album "The Defamation of Strickland Banks" — was named British male solo artist of the year.

Retro hipsters Mumford and Sons took the trophy for British album of the year, for their banjo and mandolin-laced debut, "Sigh No More."

Band member Marcus Mumford said the band was "very honoured, very humbled" by the prize.

"This is very bizarre, very strange," he said.

Although they reached the top 10 of the U.S. album chart and performed at Sunday's Grammy Awards alongside Bob Dylan, the Brits show was Mumford and Sons' first prime-time TV appearance in Britain.

Grown-up boy band Take That — reunited and still huge in Britain 15 years after their original prime — took the prize for best British group, while folky singer-songwriter Laura Marlin was named best British female solo artist of the year.

International solo artist awards went to Cee Lo Green and Rihanna.

Long criticized as dull and predictable, the Brits had a revamp this year, with a new Union Jack-striped award statuette designed by Vivienne Westwood and a tighter show with more live performances.

Adele, Mumford and Sons, Arcade Fire, Rihanna and Green — fresh from a psychedelic Grammys appearance with Gwyneth Paltrow and the Muppets — were among the acts performing at London's O2 Arena.

Green struck a more elegant note Tuesday, performing his hit "Forget You" dressed in a white suit with red boutonniere.

It was a lively but well-behaved ceremony, although the spirit of rock 'n' roll lived on in attendees such as The Who frontman Roger Daltrey, who presented the best album award.

"Good to see that the British music industry still has enough money for a good booze-up," he said.

Ovation of the night went to Take That, who performed their song "Kidz" amid a phalanx of dancers dressed as riot police, in an apparent nod to Britain's student protesters.

Most of the awards are chosen by 1,000 music critics and record industry figures, with several decided by public vote.


Online: www.brits.co.uk

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