Ed Sheeran and Pharrell Williams triumph at first ever BBC music awards

Williams won both best international artist and song of the year, while Sheeran received the award for British artist of the year

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Ed Sheeran and Pharrell Williams were the big winners at the inaugural BBC Music Awards.

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Sheeran’s award for british artist of the year topped off an impressive 2014 for Sheeran whose album, X, has sold more than one million copies in the UK and is expected to stay at number one for the tenth week this Sunday.

Accepting his prize from Sir Tom Jones, Sheeran said: “A massive thank you to everyone who’s bought a record, bought a ticket, streamed on YouTube or listened to my music.”

Williams, the US producer-songwriter, was named best international artist and won song of the year for his single Happy. Unable to attend, as he was filming the US version of talent show The Voice, he joined the award ceremony via satellite and described Happy’s global success as “weird” and “not something I can determine.

“When you say ‘song of the year’ it’s not really my award, it’s your award.”

Just three awards were handed out at the very first BBC Music Awards last night: British artist of the year, international artist of the year and song of the year, which was the only category voted for by the public. 

Sheeran beat David Bowie, Elbow, Sam Smith, Jungle and Royal Blood in his category, while Dolly Parton, Gregory Porter, Lorde, Pharrell, Prince and Taylor Swift were all up against Williams for best international artist.

It was a starry night at London’s Earls Court as One Direction, Pixie Lott and Ellie Goulding graced the red carpet and Take That and Coldplay were among the performers.

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Hosted by Chris Evans and Fearne Cotton, the show was broadcast live on BBC One, Radio 1 and Radio 2.