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Brit Awards Wednesday, 17 February, 1999, 16:00 GMT
Robbie rules over Brits
robbie williams
The name's Williams, Robbie Williams: 007-style entrance caused a stir
Singer Robbie Williams is celebrating his triple triumph at Tuesday night's Brit Awards, alongside double victories for the Manic Street Preachers and Natalie Imbruglia.

The Brit Awards
The former Take That singer, who kicked off the show in dramatic style by sliding down from the roof of the London Arena, won best video for Millennium, best single for Angels and best British male.

After landing on a crash mat emblazoned with his initials, he wowed the audience with a performance of Let Me Entertain You.

Collecting his best male artist prize, he simply showed a piece of paper to the audience reading "Legless".

natalie imbruglia
Natalie Imbruglia: Won two international awards
Later, he said: "I used to go to sleep at night dreaming of what I'd say if I won a Brit Award. Now I've forgotten. I'm overawed - it's fantastic."

Former Neighbours actress Natalie Imbruglia caused a sensation by winning awards for the best international newcomer and best international female artist.

She received the award from All Saints singers Nicole Appleton and Shaznay Lewis, and told the audience: "First of all I came to London to act, and I hadn't any idea of the struggles that were coming. I'd like to thank Britain for all the challenges it presented me."

belle and sebastian
Mystery men: Belle and Sebastian's Richard Colburn and Mick Cooke
The Manic Street Preachers repeated their 1997 success by winning best British group and best British album.

Despite being stern critics of Tony Blair's government, they later found themselves being congratulated by Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam.

The group's Nicky Wire said of their awards: "We are the people's group. We believe if you've got something to say, you should say it to as many people as possible."

There was a shock in the first award of the evening. Cult Glasgow band Belle and Sebastian picked up best British newcomer, beating off the likes of boy band 5ive and pop group Steps.

fatboy slim
Fatboy Slim: Norman Cook with fiancee Zoe Ball
Meanwhile, Des'ree won best British female artist and The Corrs won best international group.

DJ Norman Cook - alias Fatboy Slim - picked up best dance act, a day after announcing his engagement to broadcaster Zoe Ball. Beck won best international male.

The Eurythmics received an Outstanding Contribution to the Music Industry award from soul legend Stevie Wonder.

Dressed in matching Union Jack outfits, they peformed a medley of their 1980s hits including Here Comes the Rain Again, Sweet Dreams Are Made of This and There Must be an Angel.

Other highlights included David Bowie performing with rock band Placebo; an Abba medley from pop acts Steps, B*witched, Cleopatra and Billie; and guest performances from Cher and Whitney Houston.

U2 singer Bono also presented a special award to boxing legend Muhammad Ali to launch the Jubilee 2000 campaign to cancel Third Would debt.

The Brits are rarely without controversy - last year Chumbawamba's Danbert Nobacon caused uproar by drenching Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott with the water from an ice bucket. .

Eurythmics: Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart take to the podium
But this year's ceremony passed off without incident. Alongside Mo Mowlam was Cherie Blair, who arrived without her husband.

This year's awards have a new sponsor - Mastercard replaces the Britannia Music Club as backer of the event.

The Big Breakfast presenter Johnny Vaughan hosted the show, an edited version of which will be shown on ITV at 8pm on Wednesday.

Most of the awards are decided by a judging panel, but three awards are voted for by the public: Best British Video, Single and Newcomer.

Robbie Williams: "Utterly overawed, it's amazing"
The BBC's Jane O'Brien: Night of drama and surprises
The BBC's Rosie Millard: "The Brits belonged to Robbie Williams"
The BBC's Rosie Millard: "It was Robbie's night"
See also:

16 Feb 99 | Brit Awards
17 Feb 99 | Brit Awards
17 Feb 99 | Brit Awards
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