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Adele at the 2016 BRIT Awards. (Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Move over, Liz; keep trying, Kate; wipe that woad off, Boadicea. The BRITs have a new queen, and she’s got a potty mouth.

Adele won four of the coveted trophies at the BRIT Awards last night, for Best Female, Best British Single, the Global Success Award, and the big one: Best Album.

“Not bad for a girl from Tottenham who doesn’t like flying,” she said in her acceptance speech, after being announced the winner of the Global Success Award by British astronaut Timothy Peake live from the International Space Station.

The rest of her speech was hard to pick out, as it was either spoken through tears or had to be bleeped.

Meanwhile Justin Bieber won Best International Male, and Björk accepted the award for Best International Female by video, wearing a predictably bizarre glass headdress that obscured her face. James Bay won best British male solo artist, Australian psych-rock band Tame Impala won Best International Group, and Coldplay were named Best British Group—making them the most successful band in the ceremony’s history, with nine awards to their name since winning their first in 2001.

The night’s most spectacular moments came with the live performances. Rihanna brought Drake on stage during a futuristic performance of “Work,” her first since her no-show at the Grammys; Justin Bieber sang “Love Yourself” with Brit newcomer James Bay and “Sorry” amid some snazzy pyrotechnics; and, towards the end of the night, Gary Oldman introduced Lorde for an understated and moving tribute to David Bowie, which was performed alongside his actual live band, together for the first time since Bowie’s last tour in 2004.

Bowie’s son, the movie director Duncan Jones, was touched:

For an awards ceremony famous for unseating pop royalty, however, there was no major drama—unless you count this moment reported by BBC radio DJ Shaun Keaveny:

Controversy prevailed, however, with many people protesting at the lack of representation for black, Asian, and other ethnic minority acts, most notably grime artists such as JME, Skepta, Stormzy, and Krept & Konan. The hashtag #BritsSoWhite has been slowly gathering momentum over the last month.

Though nothing deflected from the fact it was clearly Adele’s night—or month, or year even, so soon after the Grammys.

Backstage after the ceremony, she told the BBC: “I feel a bit worn out, emotionally. But it was absolutely incredible. I was hoping to win one but to get that many was amazing and very lovely. A nice return.”

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By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.