Pop star Adele has dominated the BBC Music Awards for a second year in a row – without making an appearance.
The singer picked up two of the main prizes – song of the year, for Hello, and album of the year, for 25.
“I’m so sorry I’m not there,” she said in a message from Los Angeles. “It’s been a long year on the road and this makes me feel a little less homesick.”
Last year, the star won best British artist and best live performance. Again she was unable to attend.
Coldplay were another absent winner at this year’s ceremony, accepting their prize for Best British artist as they walked on stage in Australia.
“Sorry we’re not there,” said Chris Martin, in a video message from Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium. “Look at all those people – and we love you and we’re so grateful and we’ll see you so soon.”
Now in their third year, the BBC Music Awards aim to replicate the success of the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year, recognising achievement in music both in the UK and abroad.
BBC Music editor James Stirling said that rewarding artists who were not able to attend proved the show’s legitimacy.
“The BBC Music Awards have never been about who’s here on the night gets a prize. It shows a degree of legitimacy to what we do.
“Adele’s on holiday. There’s nothing we can do about that. But it actually shows that the awards are all about people who really deserve to win.”
The 1975 launched this year’s ceremony with a dynamic performance of The Sound, from their number one album I Like It When You Sleep…
The band later won a prize for their string-drenched cover of One Direction’s That’s What Makes You Beautiful – which was named the best live performance on BBC Radio 1 this year.
“It’s a bizarre award,” said singer Matt Healy. “It’s for a performance of a song we didn’t write, by an artist who also didn’t write it! I don’t know how far it goes back… it’s probably the guy who did the lights who deserves the credit – but I’ll take it!
R&B star Craig David, who had been up for the same award for his garage-infused cover of Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself, said that Radio 1’s Live Lounge tested the mettle of many performers.
“When the red light goes on and you have to sing in front of the whole nation, it’s a moment where you really have to step up to the table,” he told the BBC. “So to be nominated for that is wicked.”
David also performed at the show, as did John Legend and Emeli Sande, while Swedish singer Zara Larsson got the crowd on their feet for an energised medley of her hits Lush Life and I Would Like.
Earlier, the star – who was named one of Time Magazine’s 30 most influential teens of 2016 – told the BBC she was trying not to smile for the cameras “because I had some curry and it turned my braces yellow”.
Robbie Williams closed the show with a high-octane rendition of Sensational, after earlier accepting Adele’s best album prize.
“Hello, it’s me,” he joked, referencing the lyrics to her hit single. “As you have gathered, I am not Adele.”
He then read out a statement from the star, who said she “felt bad” because 25 had “been out for so long” (it was released in November 2015).
Williams then went off-script to address Adele personally.
“It’s an honour to accept this award on your behalf. It’s an amazing album, and you’re an incredibly deserving winner,” he said.
“You’re also an amazing mum. The hardest working mum in showbusiness. Congratulations Adele.”
She immediately responded on Twitter: “I love you too, you legend!”
The full list of nominees and winners was as follows:
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
- Coldplay (winner)
- Calvin Harris
- Jess Glynne
- David Bowie
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
- Adele – 25 (winner)
- Coldplay – A Head Full Of Dreams
- Jeff Lynne’s ELO – Alone In The Universe
- Michael Kiwanuka – Love and Hate
- Rick Astley – 50
SONG OF THE YEAR
- Adele – Hello (winner)
- Alessia Cara – Here
- Coldplay ft Beyonce – Hymn For The Weekend
- DNCE – Cake By The Ocean
- Drake – One Dance
- Justin Bieber – Sorry
- Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop The Feeling
- Lukas Graham – 7 Years
- Naughty Boy ft Beyonce – Runnin’ (Lose It All)
- Rihanna ft Drake – Work
RADIO 1 LIVE LOUNGE PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
- Christine and the Queens – Sorry
- Craig David – Love Yourself
- Emeli Sande – Hurts
- The 1975 – What Makes You Beautiful (winner)
- Usher – Climax
BBC INTRODUCING AWARD
- Izzy Bizu