David Bowie became the oldest winner of a Brit Award at a glittering ceremony last night, taking the best British male solo artist prize at the age of 67.
Bowie was named best British male – an award he last won 30 years earlier – beating acts such as Jake Bugg and Tom Odell.
But the star who rarely leaves New York where he lives did not attend the ceremony, instead sending Kate Moss who wore one of the outfits he famously wore on stage during his Ziggy Stardust era in 1972.
His speech dipped into the world of politics with his parting shot of: “Scotland, stay with us”
Singer Ellie Goulding was named best British female star for the first award of the evening.
The 27-year-old – who scored her first number one last year with Burn – took the trophy four years after collecting her first Brit.
Goulding collected her prize from Prince and his group 3RDEYEGIRL who are in the UK to perform a series of intimate surprise shows.
The award-winner told guests: “Thank you so much – I genuinely am in shock – I’m not very good at this at all. This means so much to me – I can’t even tell you.”
She beat acts such as Jessie J and Laura Marling to the prize.
Arctic Monkeys opened the show with a performance of their track R U Mine? with flaming letters spelling out the name of their fifth album AM.
As ceremony host James Corden took the stage he jokingly turned up with a blazing sleeve which was put out by security staff.
Katy Perry was also among the performers, playing her single Dark Horse with a fluorescent Egyptian themed stage set, flanked by costumed dancers.
US star Bruno Mars was named best international male act, an award he had previously collected in 2012.
Four-piece act Bastille collected the prize for best British breakthrough, beating acts such as Disclosure and London Grammar.
Singer Dan Smith – who like the rest of his band were shocked by the win – said: “This time last year I don’t think anyone in this room including us even thought we would be here.”
The Arctic Monkeys were back on stage after their show-opener to pick up their award for Best British Group – the third time they have collected the trophy having won it in 2007 and 2008 – beating One Direction.
Frontman Alex Turner joked: “That’s 15 quid we put on One Direction to win down the drain.”
The band were on stage again shortly after to collect the Best Album award – the third year they have scooped both awards.
One Direction suffered a toilet mishap when Harry Styles was still visiting the loo while the rest of his group was collecting the band’s global success award, and he was forced to sprint onto the stage to join his bandmates.
One Direction also scooped the Best Video award.