Page last updated at 18:02 GMT, Thursday, 22 May 2008 19:02 UK

Winehouse too late for top award

Amy Winehouse at the Ivor Novellos

Amy Winehouse has won a prestigious Ivor Novello songwriting award - but turned up too late to accept it.

The singer won the best song prize for Love Is A Losing Game, but her father Mitch picked it up on her behalf.

She arrived at the London ceremony "literally as the award was being given to her dad", her spokesman said.

Asked how she was feeling, Winehouse later told the BBC she was "very well" and was "very excited and very flattered" to win the award.

In his acceptance speech on his daughter's behalf, Mitch Winehouse said: "Unfortunately Amy couldn't make it, but she is getting better and sends you all her love."

Other winners included Phil Collins, who said his international achievement award would mark a "full stop" in his long musical career.

Take That's Howard Donald (left) and Gary Barlow
Take That shared songwriting credits on their latest album

The singer, who has just finished a reunion tour with Genesis, said he would continue to write songs but implied he would retreat from the limelight.

"My priorities in life have taken a considerable change in the past couple of years. I've got two little boys and my world revolves around them," he said.

Take That's Shine was named the most played song, 15 years to the day after Gary Barlow won songwriter of the year at the same ceremony.

"I think that day was pretty much like most of that period," he told the BBC News website. "It seems all a bit of a blur now. It went by without me realising how great it was.

Mika, pictured with his guest, was named songwriter of the year

"That's the big difference this time. Coming back, you really appreciate everything that happens, and these awards are just mind-blowing."

'Long, bumpy road'

Radiohead's In Rainbows won the best album award, but the band were not there to accept it after finishing their US tour.

They sent a message saying they were "delighted that In Rainbows has been honoured", adding that they "put a lot into the record and we're extremely proud of it".

Accepting his lifetime achievement award, Pink Floyd's David Gilmour told the crowd: "It's been a long, bumpy and exhilarating road.

"Let's hope in about another 20 or 30 years Amy Winehouse will get one of these long service gongs."

Winehouse was nominated twice in the best song category and had a third nomination for best-selling British song, but lost out to Beyonce and Shakira's Beautiful Liar.

That song was eligible because two members of its five-strong writing team - Amanda Ghost and former EMF guitarist Ian Dench - are British.

Winehouse, speaking to BBC 6 Music, said she had "always really liked" going to the Ivor Novello ceremony.

She said she was working on new material that was "pretty much the same. Very atmospheric and very love-lorn".

And she "can't wait" for her appearance at Glastonbury, she added.

She wore a heart in her hair with the name Blake written across it, a reference to her husband Blake Fielder-Civil. "Please God my Blake will be with me, that's all I'm looking forward to."

In other categories, Atonement won best film score, Oliver Twist won best TV soundtrack and Jonathan Dove picked up the classical prize.

Mika was named songwriter of the year, while Cherry Ghost's People Help The People won best contemporary song, beating Kate Nash's Foundations and Golden Skans by Klaxons.

Music 'inspiration'

Soul star Gabrielle was honoured with the prize for outstanding song collection and Diane Warren - who was behind hits such as Unbreak My Heart and If I Could Turn Back Time - received the international award.

Soul II Soul's Jazzie B was given the inspiration award, while Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze were honoured with the outstanding contribution to British music prize.

Winehouse's musical collaborator and friend Mark Ronson presented that trophy, and called the Ivors "the most prestigious songwriting awards in the world, the Grammys of songwriting".

The Ivor Novello awards reward artists for songwriting and composing rather than performing or recording.

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