LONDON: British singers Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith took two prizes each at a glittering Brit Awards on Wednesday marred by a mishap that saw Madonna dragged to the ground by her cape.
Sheeran won British male solo artist and album of the year for ‘x’, while 22-year-old Londoner Smith won British breakthrough act and global success award after his debut album In the Lonely Hour won worldwide acclaim.
“This is incredible, I really didn’t expect this,” Smith told the crowd, while Sheeran called it a great night for British music that defied those who said “selling records is dead”.
As pop veteran Madonna took to the stage flanked by muscled male dancers wearing horns, her long black cape got caught and dragged her down a set of stage steps in a dramatic fall.
But the 56-year-old gamely shrugged off the mishap, removing the cape and giving a stomping performance of ‘Living for Love’ — a retort to a menopause joke about her from comic Jimmy Carr that drew jeers earlier in the night.
The ceremony kicked off with a pitch-perfect rendition of ‘Blank Space’ by country music sweetheart turned pop sensation Taylor Swift, who won the international female solo artist award. “I’ve been coming to England and playing shows for eight years and this is my first award. I’m so happy,” Swift said as she accepted the prize — Britain’s version of a Grammy.
She paid tribute to Sheeran, saying “Honestly I know I wouldn’t be up here if it wasn’t for one of my best friends who took me to pubs and taught me to make a good cup of tea and taught me everything I know about the UK.”
Published in The Express Tribune, February 27th, 2015.
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