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The Latest: Rag 'n' Bone Man wins British breakthrough act

Associated Press logo Associated Press 2/22/2017
Singer Ed Sheeran poses for photographers upon arrival at the Brit Awards 2017 in London, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Singer Ed Sheeran poses for photographers upon arrival at the Brit Awards 2017 in London, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on the Brit Awards ceremony (all times local):

Singer Katy Perry poses for photographers upon arrival at the Brit Awards 2017 in London, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Singer Katy Perry poses for photographers upon arrival at the Brit Awards 2017 in London, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

8:20 p.m.

Musician Stormzy poses for photographers upon arrival at the Brit Awards 2017 in London, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Musician Stormzy poses for photographers upon arrival at the Brit Awards 2017 in London, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

Rag 'n' Bone Man has been named best British Breakthrough Act at the Brit Awards in London.

Singer Pixie Lott poses for photographers upon arrival at the Brit Awards 2017 in London, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Singer Pixie Lott poses for photographers upon arrival at the Brit Awards 2017 in London, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

"His single "Human" has gotten air play on both sides of the Atlantic.

Alesha Dixon poses for photographers upon arrival at the Brit Awards 2017 in London, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Alesha Dixon poses for photographers upon arrival at the Brit Awards 2017 in London, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

The soulful, big-voiced singer from England's south coast started his career in hip-hop music before he moved to blues and soul.

Singer Leigh-Ann Pinnock of the group Little Mix performs on stage at the Brit Awards 2017 in London, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Singer Leigh-Ann Pinnock of the group Little Mix performs on stage at the Brit Awards 2017 in London, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

"Oh my days," said the singer, whose real name is Rory Graham. "I'm nearly speechless.

Singer Katy Perry poses for photographers upon arrival at the Brit Awards 2017 in London, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Singer Katy Perry poses for photographers upon arrival at the Brit Awards 2017 in London, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

The breakthrough artist award is one of the few not decided by the British music academy. BBC's Radio 1 listeners pick the winner.

Singer Heloise Letissier from the band Christine and the Queens poses for photographers upon arrival at the Brit Awards 2017 in London, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Singer Heloise Letissier from the band Christine and the Queens poses for photographers upon arrival at the Brit Awards 2017 in London, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

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Brooklyn Beckham poses for photographers upon arrival at the Brit Awards 2017 in London, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Brooklyn Beckham poses for photographers upon arrival at the Brit Awards 2017 in London, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

8:07 p.m.

David Bowie has won the Brit Award for best male artist, the latest posthumous honor for the superstar.

Bowie died in January 2016 and has received numerous honors for his last album, "Blackstar."

He won four Grammy Awards earlier this month. "Blackstar" is also nominated for British album of the year, which will be presented later in the ceremony.

The solo artist award was accepted on his behalf by actor Michael C. Hall, star of Lazarus, a stage musical based on the late artist's songs.

"If David Bowie could be here tonight, he probably wouldn't be here tonight," Hall said of the famously elusive musician.

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7:56 p.m.

The 1975 has been named best British group at the Brit Awards in London.

The band's latest album is "I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It" included the song "Somebody Else."

Lead singer Matt Healy noted that: "We've been in the same lineup since we were 13 years old and this kind of thing doesn't happen."

Healy told entertainers with a platform not to heed advice to "stay in your lane when it comes to social issues."

He said that "if you have a platform, don't do that. Please don't do that."

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7:44 p.m.

Emeli Sandé is the Brit Award winner for best female solo artist.

It is her second win in the category and her fourth Brit Award. Her second album, "Long Live the Angels," was released last year and includes the single "Hurts."

The best female solo artist category was the first award handed out at Wednesday's ceremony.

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4:34 p.m.

The Brit awards — which celebrate international as well as British acts — have been accused of failing to represent the industry's ethnic diversity.

All last year's British nominees were white, and protesters rallied under the hashtag #britssowhite.

Organizers responded by expanding the diversity of the voter base of 1,000 music-industry figures.

This year's list is more diverse, with chanteuse Emeli Sande, soul singer Michael Kiwanuka and singer-songwriter Lianne La Havas among non-white British contenders, along with the three grime performers.

Grime artists Stormzy and Kano are among the contenders, reflecting the growing artistic and commercial clout of the distinctly British rap genre.

Keith Harris, who was appointed to head a diversity taskforce for the British music industry, said "people feel there might actually be a breakthrough."

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3:41 p.m.

Britain's music industry will salute chart-topping talent and departed icons at Wednesday's Brit Awards, where nominees include Drake, Beyonce and David Bowie.

Bowie, who died in January 2016, is nominated in the album of the year category for valedictory release "Blackstar" and male British artist category at the U.K. equivalent of the Grammys.

Organizers said the show will also include a tribute to George Michael, who died on Christmas Day at age 53.

Performers during the flashy show at London's O2 Arena include pop-friendly Ed Sheeran, Katy Perry and Bruno Mars, as well as grime musician Skepta, nominated for British breakthrough artist.

Adele, who took four Grammys last week, is not up for the Brits because her album "25" was eligible last year, and took four Brits.

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