February 26, 2001
LONDON (AP) - Madonna dusted the queen's picture and Eminem drew a protest as they took top honors Monday as the British music industry offered its response to last week's Grammy awards.
Madonna was named best international female artist and Eminem won best international male artist at the Brit Awards show.
The Irish band U2 was named the best international group and also won a special award for making an outstanding contribution to music.
Homegrown pop star Robbie Williams dominated the British categories, winning best British male solo artist plus best British single and best British video for his Rock DJ.
The audience cheered when Eminem took the stage with a chainsaw to sing his hit The Real Slim Shady, but his performance - filled with four-letter words - may present a problem for editors who have to prepare the show for a television broadcast Tuesday.
A small group of protesters gathered outside the awards ceremony in central London.
This nomination is the moral equivalent of honoring a Ku Klux Klan singer, said Peter Tatchell, of the gay rights group OutRage! It is time we told Eminem that prejudice has no place in pop.
Critics say the rapper's lyrics are anti-gay and condone violence against women. Many criticized gay superstar Elton John for singing with the rapper last week at the Grammys, where he picked up three awards.
Madonna was not at the ceremony, but her new husband, British film director Guy Ritchie, was shown on video thanking the audience while his superstar wife dusted a picture of Queen Elizabeth II in the background.
Madonna has become something of a favorite daughter in Britain since she married Ritchie last year. She had been been nominated for Brit Awards nine times before, but this was her first win - on the strength of her album, Music. She was shut out at the Grammys.
American R&B talent Kelis was named best international newcomer. Dance music sensation Sonique won for best British female solo artist, and A1 was named best British newcomer. The guitar rock quartet Coldplay won best British group, and their Parachutes won for best British album. Fatboy Slim won best British dance act.
The Brit Awards are run by the British Phonographic Industry Ltd. an industry association.
Most winners are selected by a vote of more than 1,000 industry members, including representatives from record companies, the press, retailers, record producers, DJs and promoters.
Four awards are chosen by votes from the public: best British newcomer, best British video, best British single and best pop act. The British Phonographic Industry chooses the winner of the outstanding contribution award.