Adele last night capped an extraordinary 12 months, kick-started by a transformative performance at last year's Brit awards, returning in triumph to scoop the best British female and best British album titles.
LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FEBRUARY 21, 2012) (BRIT AWARDS LIMITED) -Soul singer Adele added to her awards haul at the 2012 BRITs on Tuesday (February 21) and set the biggest night in British pop alight with a rousing performance of "Rolling In the Deep".
At the start of the evening, Adele picked up the statuette for British female solo artist and finished off proceedings by scooping the coveted best album honour for "21" at the end of a two-hour televised show.
Receiving her album award, Adele said: "Nothing makes me prouder than coming home with six Grammys, then coming to the BRITs and winning album of the year. I'm so proud to be British and to be flying the flag and I'm so proud to be in the room with all of you."
She was cut off half way through her speech by presenter and comedian James Corden, presumably to squeeze in band Blur's closing set for broadcast, and she gestured with her middle finger in frustration on-stage.
Adele, 23, said the insult was aimed at "the suits", after show host James Corden interrupted her to wind up her words.
The only BRIT award she did not win from her three nominations was best British single, which went to TV talent show contestants One Direction for "What Makes You Beautiful".
The most-nominated act this year was Sheeran, the 21-year-old singer/songwriter was shortlisted for best album, best single, best British male solo artist and British breakthrough act.
After singing his acoustic guitar number "Lego House", in a typically understated performance, he picked up two awards breakthrough and male solo.
Rihanna, who won the international female award for the second year in a row, got the thumbs up for a high-energy rendition of "We Found Love". She thanked her fans '' who continue to support me no matter what,'' she said, accepting her award.
Meanwhile Bruno Mars took the best international male prize, joking that the statue is almost taller than him.
Music heavyweights Noel Gallagher and Chris Martin also joined forces for a performance of the former Oasis man's track "AKA… What A Life". Gallagher sang with his band High Flying Birds while Coldplay star Martin played the piano. Coldplay also took home British Group.
There were brief video tributes to U.S. superstar Whitney Houston, who died on the eve of the Grammys in California, and British chart-topper Amy Winehouse, found dead in her London home last July.
Blur, titans of 1990s British pop scene, closed the show with some of their biggest hits including "Girls and Boys", "Song 2" and "Park Life". They had just picked outstanding contribution to music.