DARKNESS TAKE BRITS

It's a good night for The Darkness...

THE DARKNESS, WHITE STRIPES, BASEMENT JAXX, DIDO and BUSTED were the big winner’s at the BRIT AWARDS 2004.

Cat Deeley hosted the annual ceremony, held at London Earl’s Court, arriving atop a champagne bottle dressed in suspenders and fishnets.

Justin Timberlake was the evening’s first winner, picking up the award for International Male Solo Artist from Canadian Shania Twain.

“Woohoo!,” he said after arriving on stage. “That’s a

fancy award. Wow, my first Brit I’m honored.

“I toured here last year way too long and I thank you guys for having me and I look forward to what’s in store for the future.”

He later picked up the award for International Album for ’Justified’, joking, “This is only my first award I still have depression and drug addiction to go through.”

The Darkness collected the evening’s second award, setting off a string of wins for the group who picked up statuettes for British Rock Act, British Group and the biggest prize of the night, Best British Album.

“This is the award that we were all secretly wishing

for,” Hawkins told the crowd. “It’s huge and a tremendous award and an honor to receive it.”

The band dressed in their usual spandex and made a

grand entrance from a ‘70s car, emblazoned in their

logo.

The White Stripes could not make this year’s Brits but the White family recorded a bizarre acceptance speech, which saw them in whimsical fashion, being dubbed over and slightly unsure of what the award – for International Group, was for.

“Why hello there, my name is Jack White from the pop rock group The White Stripes,” the recording said as Jack and Meg sat in a white room. “This is my sister Meg White and she’s

holding a very special award. Some awards mean absolute nothing to us, but that’s not true with this award.”

The greeting closed with White saying the statue was for the best band in all the magic kingdom.

The International Breakthrough Artist faced

competition from Evanescense, Kings of Leon and Sean Paul, but eventually went to Eminem protégé 50 Cent.

“I never won an award man. I’d like to thank you all

for my blessings,” he said grinning.

Duran Duran picked up the Outstanding Contribution to Music Award. Simon LeBon and the boys thanked the crowd saying, “by presenting us with this award tonight you validate us along with presenting us with a place alongside those who first inspired us.”

The group then charmed the crowd with a megamix of ‘Wild Boys’, ’Hungry Like The Wolf’ and ’Ordinary World’.

The main winners were:

International Male Solo Artist: Justin Timberlake

British Group: The Darkness

Pop Act: Busted

British Dance Act: Basement Jaxx

British Rock Act: the Darkness

British Male Solo Artist: Daniel Beddingfield

British Urban Act: Lemar

British Single: Dido ‘White Flag’

International Female Solo Artist: Beyonce

International Group: The White Stripes

British Breakthrough Artist: Busted

British Female Solo Artist: Dido

Outstanding Contribution To Music: Duran Duran

International Breakthrough Artist: 50 Cent

International Album: Justified, Justin Timberlake

Mastercard British Album: The Darkness, Permission To Land