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After Janet boos, twin glory for Justin

London, Feb. 18 (Reuters): Justin Timberlake, the night of his infamous “wardrobe malfunction” duet with Janet Jackson just a memory, yesterday landed two of the top awards at the Brits, the UK record industry’s big night of the year.

The American singer had been all contrition after the outrage that greeted his intimate Super Bowl duet with Jackson which ended with her exposing a breast live on television.

At London’s Earls Court venue, he was on best behaviour and whooping with delight at his latest success. “Wow! Two awards in one night. That is awesome,” he told fans.

Timberlake won the best international album prize for his album Justified and was also picked as the best international male solo artist at the awards presented by the world’s third biggest record market. He also presented a lifetime achievement award to Britain’s 80s veterans Duran Duran who got one of the biggest ovations of the night when they recreated their hits Wild Boys and Hungry Like A Wolf.

Along with Timberlake, the international spotlight at the Brits was shared by American R&B star Beyonce, who brought the house down with a sensationally sexy performance of her big hit Crazy In Love. Beyonce, who hitched up her top in mid-dance routine to ensure she did not do a Janet Jackson, was picked as international female solo artist of the year, adding to the clutch of Grammys she won in Los Angeles earlier this month.

On the home front, the outstanding stars of the night were British glam rockers The Darkness, who carried off three awards for their outrageously camp live performances that have put the fun back into rock and roll. They ended the show by accepting the best British album award from rising Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson for their album Permission To Land.

Lead singer Justin Hawkins, famed for his cutaway spandex cat suits, falsetto solos and platform heels, was certainly no shrinking violet when it came to accepting the group’s awards.

“I have to say we probably are the best British group,” he told fans. “We should thank our parents for bestowing the greatness of rock on us,” Hawkins added, before he took to the stage in a feather-trimmed silver cat suit to belt out their big hit I Believe In A Thing Called Love.

Another big winner of the night was the honey-voiced British singer Dido, who landed two Brit awards but confined her thanks to a video message because she was busy writing new songs and rehearsing for a tour.

Perky British rockers Busted, dubbed “the naughty puppies of pop”, also landed two awards on a night of celebration for a buoyant industry.

UK music executives have seen sales rise by more than 2 per cent last year in stark contrast to the gloomy global industry hit by online piracy and CD-burning and fierce competition from video games and DVDs.

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