LONDON (AFP) – Rising British pop singer Dua Lipa and grime star Stormzy were the early winners at the Brit Awards on Wednesday as folk-pop hit machine Ed Sheeran missed out at a packed O2 Arena in London.
US superstar Justin Timberlake kicked off the show with a stirring performance of hit single “Say Something”, backed by scores of singers.
London-born Dua Lipa, who is of Kosovan background, beat off Paloma Faith, Laura Marling, Kate Tempest and Jessie Ware to be named best female solo artist.
“Thankyou for starting my night off so magically,” the 22-year-old said as she picked up the award from Australian pop royalty Kylie Minogue.
She was later named best British breakthrough act, and took her younger sister and brother on stage with her, declaring: “I told them to believe in magic because it s real.”
Sheeran s night did not start as well as he surprisingly lost out to Stormzy in the best male solo artist category.
His global megahit “Shape of You” was also a shock loser as heavyweight rapper Rag n Bone Man walked away with the best single award for “Human”.
“This is alright innit?”, the winner joked in his acceptance speech.
His single also triumphed over Dua Lipa s breakout record “New Rules”, but her colourful performance of the hit, complete with a huge confetti explosion, was one of the evening s early highlights.