BY JILL LAWLESS
LONDON (AP) — British music put on a brash, confident show at the Brit Awards 2013 on Wednesday, celebrating a resurgent industry whose bands and artists are topping charts around the globe.
One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson called the prize “absolutely mind-blowing.”
American artists Frank Ocean and Lana Del Rey were among the non-British winners at a ceremony that embraced the mainstream while rewarding artists with distinctive personalities.
Surfing English folk singer Ben Howard and chanteuse Emeli Sande each won two awards.
Sande was named best British female artist and won the album of the year prize for her debut “Our Version of Events,” which has been in the British charts for more than a year. Scotland-raised Sande got a big boost in 2012 when she performed at both the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics.
“This is a dream, really,” said Sande, who beat Alt-J, Mumford & Sons, Plan B and Paloma Faith to the album prize.
She thanked everyone “who made me feel like I’m part of something much bigger.”
Howard was named British breakthrough act and British male artist of the year.
“I’m not very good at speeches,” the 25-year-old singer said, accurately – though he may have to get good at it if his career continues to take off.
Long derided as dull, the Brits have become a lively celebration of “Cool Britannia” music and style, featuring a dinner for hundreds of artists and industry figures followed by a televised concert and awards show for thousands of paying fans.
Hard rockers Muse opened the show at London’s O2 Arena with a typically robust performance of their song “Supremacy”- all thundering music, dazzling light show and 60-piece orchestra. Other performers ranged from tween-pleasing One Direction to American artists Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake.
Timberlake, dapper in a tuxedo as he performed “Mirrors,” was described by host James Corden, in a nod to Europe’s horse meat scandal, as “95 percent beefcake with just a little touch of horse.”
One Direction performed a mashup of post-punk classics “One Way or Another” and “Teenage Kicks,” their single for Britain’s Comic Relief charity.
Mumford & Sons were named best British group. The banjo-twanging band topped U.K. and U.S. charts with their second album “Babel,” which was named album of the year at the Grammys earlier this month.
Soul singer Amy Winehouse – who died in July 2011 from accidental alcohol poisoning – was among the other nominees for British female artist, eligible thanks to her posthumous “Lioness: Hidden Treasures” album. Her father, Mitch Winehouse, arrived for the awards ceremony at London’s O2 Arena wearing a waistcoat emblazoned with a picture of his daughter.