Arcade Fire’s Week Gets Even Better After Winning Brit Awards

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Members of Arcade Fire react after winning the International album at the BRIT awards in London

Luke Macgregor/Reuters

Canadian rockers just about left U.S. airspace with their Grammy for Album of the Year intact. They received far more love in London Tuesday night after winning two Brit awards (must be a Commonwealth thing).

Some of the artists involved in Sunday’s shindig crossed the Atlantic to take part in and win some Brits. Arcade Fire won Best International Group and Album for The Suburbs, in addition to performing. The thousands inside the O2 Arena (hosting the event for the first time) roared their approval, especially when Arcade Fire paid tribute to a whole host of British bands who have inspired them over the years, such as The Smiths, Clash and David Bowie. And for anyone out there who still knows next to nothing about the Canadian outfit? “Check it out on Google,” advised frontman Win Butler. Consider ourselves told, sir.

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Sticking with the international theme and Cee Lo Green took International Male (his “Forget You” also closed the show) while Rihanna won for Female. “It doesn’t get much better than the Brits,” she gushed and with her performing a medley of hits, surely the spike in sales that followed justified her ingratiating herself with the locals.

And speaking of happy, Justin Bieber, who we hear did not win a Grammy this past weekend, made amends by nabbing International Breakthrough, beating out the likes of the Glee cast, Bruno Mars and the Temper Trap. The 16-year-old showed his youthful side during the acceptance speech as he explained to a baffled crowd about the intricacies of travel within the music industry. “Over here you get an international rep who travels with you all the time, so Mike, come up here, I want to share this with you, you’re awesome.” Mike duly appeared on stage and the pair hugged. When the definitive history of Justin Bieber is written, this probably won’t be in it.

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The Brits (the awards, not the people) were keen to emphasize that, for the first time, musicians were given a vote as well as the record company executives. And perhaps this goes some way to explaining why British pop didn’t have it all their own way. Laura Marling, for example, beating out national treasure Cheryl Cole for British Female didn’t exactly elicit a rapturous response from the audience (to be fair, Marling looked as shocked as anyone to have won, even having to tell us her first name as part of her speech). And while Tinie Tempah’s “Pass Out” was a worthy winner for British Single, the fact that it triumphed over some of Simon Cowell’s reality TV stars made it all the more surprising (and amusing).

But it was Mumford & Sons (who were also in the running for the Best New Artist at the Grammys) taking British Album of the Year for Sign No More that caught most unawares. They had to overcome the might of the reformed five piece manband, Take That, who are so popular that Brits (the people, not the awards) must bow down in their presence (or so we hear). “It’s all about the music,” we were promised by host James Corden at the start of the show and, for once when it came to the Brits, perhaps it was. (via BBC)