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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 May 2006, 21:02 GMT 22:02 UK
Soprano sparkles with second Brit
Katherine Jenkins
Katherine Jenkins wore a Marilyn Monroe style dress to the awards
Katherine Jenkins sparkled in 250,000 worth of diamonds as she won her second and consecutive album of the year award at the Classical Brits.

The Neath soprano, 25, wore a 75,000 jewel-encrusted gown to the ceremony - a copy of Marilyn Monroe's dress in the 1953 film How To Marry A Millionaire.

The award is for Jenkins' third album Living A Dream.

She beat Welsh opera star Bryn Terfel, among others, to the award.

Living A Dream has sold 450,000 copies so far.

Wearing the fuchsia pink dress, the former music teacher, said: "Marilyn Monroe is my inspiration. I love that old-fashioned glamour and womanly shape."

Jenkins is now the first female artist to win two consecutive Classical Brits and is the UK's biggest-selling classical artist of all time after notching up sales of 1.5 million in less than two years.

She first won the award in 2005 with her second album, Second Nature.

The award tops a great year for the singer who, with a trip to Iraq to visit troops last Christmas, has taken on Dame Vera Lynn's mantle as "the forces' sweetheart".

Young British Classical Performer - Alison Balso
Instrumentalist of the Year - Leif Ove Andsnes for Rachmaninov Piano Concerto 1 & 2
Contemporary Music Award - James MacMillan (Symphony no 3, Silence)
Ensemble/Orchestral Album of the Year - Takacs Quartet - Beethoven: The Late String Quartets
Royal Opera House Chorus and Orchestra/Domingo/Pappano - Tristan and Isolde

She is also the Wales rugby team's mascot and sings the national anthem at most of team's internationals.

In addition, she is planning to launch her own two day summer festival, dubbed "KathFest" in south Wales in 2007.

Michael Parkinson hosted the awards ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Classical stars in attendance included teenage singer Hayley Westenra, ex-Emmerdale actress turned singer Amy Nuttall and legendary tenor Placido Domingo, who was honoured with a lifetime achievement award.

Dario Marianelli won an award for his soundtrack to the Keira Knightley film Pride and Prejudice and Andreas Scholl was named singer of the year.

Star concert 'no rival' to Faenol
25 Mar 06 |  North East Wales
Jenkins performs for Iraq troops
23 Dec 05 |  South West Wales
Double chart triumph for soprano
06 Nov 05 |  South West Wales
The rise of Katherine Jenkins
26 May 05 |  Wales


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