* Adele picks up two prizes including best album
* Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse remembered
* Ed Sheeran also wins two awards from four nominations
(Adds ITV/Brit Awards statement, paras 10-13)
By Mike Collett-White
LONDON, Feb 21 Soul singer Adele added to
her awards haul at the 2012 BRITs on Tuesday 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.
In between, the 23-year-old captivated a packed O2 Arena in
her native London with a vocal display that suggested her husky
voice was on its way back after surgery on vocal cords late last
year which forced her to cancel part of a tour.
Adele sang the same song earlier this month at the Grammys,
where she managed a record-equalling six awards in one night.
The only BRIT award she did not win from three nominations
was best British single, which went to TV talent show
contestants One Direction for "What Makes You Beautiful".
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.
Still photographs showed Adele making a gesture with her
middle finger, although it was not clear whether it was caught
The gesture quickly became a hot topic on social media
sites, forcing broadcasters ITV to apologise for cutting the
singer's acceptance speech short.
"The BRITs is a live event. Unfortunately the programme
was over running and we had to move on. We would like to
apologise to Adele for the interruption," an ITV spokesperson
said in a statement after the show.
A Brit Awards spokesperson also added their apologies
to the singer in a post-show statement.
"We regret this happened and we send our deepest
apologies to Adele that her big moment was cut short this
evening due to the live show over-running. We don't want this to
undermine her incredible achievement in winning our night's
biggest award. It tops off what's been an incredible year for
Blur, titans of 1990s British pop scene, closed the show
with some of their biggest hits including "Girls and Boys",
"Song 2" and "Parklife". They had just picked up a lifetime
WHITNEY, WINEHOUSE REMEMBERED
Coldplay opened the show with "Charlie Brown" from their hit
album "Mylo Xyloto", and Florence + The Machine came next with
"No Light No Light".
There were brief video tributes to U.S. superstar Whitney
Houston, who died on the eve of the Grammys in California, and
Britain's "Rehab" singer Amy Winehouse, found dead in her London
home last July aged 27.
The most-nominated act this year was Sheeran, the
21-year-old singer/songwriter who was shortlisted for best album
("+"), best single ("The A Team"), 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".
"At times, when I feel misunderstood, my fans reminded me
it's OK to be myself," she said, accepting her award.
Lana Del Rey, the "Video Games" singer tipped as an artist
to watch in 2012, scooped the international breakthrough act.
"I just want to say that without the support of everyone in
this room and everyone in the UK I would really be lost, so
thank you," she said.
Foo Fighters were named best international group, Coldplay
scooped best British group and Bruno Mars won the international
male solo honour.
(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, additional reporting by Piya
Sinha-Roy; editing by Paul Casciato)