LONDON (Reuters) - Pop reigned supreme at the Brit Awards on Wednesday as comeback kings Take That, Australian star Kylie Minogue and Beirut-born Mika scooped a clutch of top prizes at the British music industry’s big night of the year.
And it was the perfect chance for two stars to put their worst nightmares behind them -- Amy Winehouse shrugged off her drug woes to perform live and former Beatle Paul McCartney won a Lifetime Achievement Award after a week in the divorce courts.
To crown their comeback as one of the longest-running boybands in the business, Take That fought off tough competition from the Arctic Monkeys and Kaiser Chiefs to be named Best British Live Act. They also won Best British Single for “Shine.”
The Beirut-born Mika opened the show with a medley of his hits set against a backdrop of fireworks exploding across the stage before being named Best British Breakthrough Act.
Hip-hop star Kanye West was picked as Best International Male Solo Artist, while Mark Ronson, famed for his collaboration with stars like Winehouse, scooped the Best British Male Solo Artist.
Australian Kylie Minogue underlined the pop theme by performing “Wow” in a gold figure-hugging dress flanked by dancers in shiny metallic tracksuits.
She won the Best International Female Solo Artist award, telling fans: “I‘m all overcome. This is so incredible.”
The Foo Fighters were double award winners, landing the Best International Album and Best International Group awards.
The U.S. four-piece rock band was formed by Dave Grohl, former drummer with Nirvana, in Seattle in the 1990s. Their release “Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace” won the best rock album Grammy award earlier this month.
The Arctic Monkeys, one of the first groups to build their fan base on the Internet, won the coveted Best British Group and Best Album awards.
The show was a real family affair with Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne joined by son Jack and daughter Kelly to present the Brits, being broadcast live on national television.
They made a few fluffs and had to control some inebriated prize presenters but survived the ordeal.
McCartney told cheering crowds as he wrapped up the show “I do think British music is the best,” before launching into a medley of hits ranging from “Hey Jude” to the Wings hit “Live and Let Die.”
The former Beatle certainly looked to be relieved being back doing what he does best after a six-day court battle with former model Heather Mills. She is seeking a slice of his 825 million pound fortune as one of the founders of the world’s most famous pop group.
One of the biggest cheers of the night was given to troubled soul singer Amy Winehouse, who consistently grabs the headlines for her battle against drugs rather than her musical talent.
Winehouse, who earlier this month won five Grammy Awards, joined Mark Ronson on stage to perform the hit “Valerie.”
Winehouse, wearing a short leopard-skin print skirt, said to the audience “Make some noise for my husband, my Blake.”
Blake Fielder-Civil is currently in custody facing charges over a pub brawl.
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Reporting by Paul Majendie; Editing by Jon Boyle