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Tuesday, 27 February, 2001, 08:17 GMT
Robbie's the one at Brits
Robbie Williams
Hat-trick: Robbie Williams performing at the Brits
Pop star Robbie Williams has completed a hat-trick at the Brits, the UK's most prestigious music awards.

The former Take That singer won best British male artist, and best British video and single for Rock DJ.

Robbie Williams
Williams accepts his prize from Geri Halliwell
Rock band Coldplay - who were comparative unknowns 12 months ago - took two of the biggest prizes: best British group and best British album for Parachutes.

Other winners included boy band A1, rock act U2, Eminem and Madonna - but one of last year's biggest stars, Craig David, went home empty-handed.

Hat-trick

Robbie Williams' hat-trick means he has collected 12 Brit Awards during his career - four with his old group Take That and eight on his own.

Despite Rock DJ winning him two prizes, Williams later told BBC Radio 1 he hated it.

"I think it's pants. I can't wait to write a decent song."

Craig David at the 2001 Brits
Craig David: Six nominations and no prize
On stage, he told the audience: "This is my fourth year of coming back and getting awards and I am going to say nothing except thank you very much."

Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell presented Williams with the prize for best British male artist - introducing him to the audience as "my dearest friend".

The pair have been linked romantically in the press in recent weeks.

Sonique
Feels so good: Sonique on stage
She said: "He is very male, he's very healthy, he is a talented artist, and he's got the biggest heart.

"According to the press he is giving me one. Let me return the favour by giving him one - my dearest friend Robert Williams."

They then left the stage arm-in-arm.

David disappointment

Teenage artist Craig David left empty-handed - despite having six nominations.


If there is a better singer in England than Craig David, then I am Margaret Thatcher

Sir Elton John
However, this did not stop him performing at the awards, although he looked downcast as he performed Fill Me In.

He adapted the lyrics of the track to "six nominations and no award for CD", confirming the night's worst-kept secret.

U2 - who won best international act as well as their outstanding achievement prize - and Sir Elton John paid tribute to Craig David on stage.

Norman Cook
On the juice: Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim
Sir Elton said: "If there is a better singer in England than Craig David, then I am Margaret Thatcher."

Controversial rapper Eminem was surrounded by security guards as he picked up his best international male artist prize from Sir Elton, after fears protestors would try to attack him on stage.

He gave a typically foul-mouthed performance - and insulted veteran group Steely Dan, who beat him to a best album Grammy prize in Los Angeles last week.

U2 honour

U2's lifetime achievement prize adds to their "godlike genius" gong from the recent NME awards.

Coldplay singer Chris Martin
Hit for six: Coldplay's Chris Martin
Singer Bono said on stage: "It's been a great year for pop, hip-hop and R'n'B - but we feel really great that you're giving this award to a guitar band with lots of soul and attitude."

The band dedicated their performance of their song One to Craig David, incorporating lyrics from his hit Walking Away into the song.

Coldplay singer Chris Martin thanked the teacher who encouraged him to take up music instead of cricket.

Eminem and Sir Elton John at the 2001 Brits
Eminem and Sir Elton John embrace on stage
"We are really made up about this so thank you all," he said.

Madonna won best international female, but could not attend to pick up her prize.

Instead, new husband Guy Ritchie spoke on video while Madonna dusted a picture of the Queen behind him.

A1 anger

Pop group A1 took best British newcomer, but Oasis songwriter Noel Gallagher, presenting U2's outstanding achievement prize, was less than impressed with the honour, voted for by listeners to Radio 1.

"Over the years this awards ceremony has been accused of not having a sense of humour," he said.

"But when you see A1 winning best British newcomer, you know somebody's taking the piss."

Bono and The Edge from U2
Craig David fans: Bono and The Edge from U2
Fatboy Slim won best dance act, while fellow DJ-turned pop star Sonique took the best British female prize.

Most winners are selected by a vote of more than 1,000 industry members, including representatives from record companies, the press, retailers, record producers, DJs and promoters.

Four awards are chosen by different public votes: best British newcomer, best British video, best British single and best pop act.

Over 5,000 guests attended the show, which is expected to have a worldwide TV audience of some 500 million, with ITV broadcasting the show in the UK on Tuesday.

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The BBC's Alan Peacock
"Robbie Williams kicked off the Brit Awards"


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See also:

22 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Robbie Williams attacked on stage
31 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Williams walks after Q quarrel
27 Aug 00 | New Music Releases
CD Review: Robbie Williams
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