NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Brit Awards: Emeli Sande wins two awards

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Emeli Sande has emerged as a double winner from this year's Brit Awards ceremony at London's O2 Arena.

The 25-year-old Aberdeenshire-based singer-songwriter came top in the best British female artist and best British album categories.

Sande had gone into the event with four nominations, including two in the best single category, but that was won by Adele's James Bond theme, Skyfall.

Sande described herself as "a very unlikely pop star".

"This is an album I wrote because I didn't have the confidence to say these things in person," she said after receiving perhaps the most prized award of the night, for best album.

"For me, that so many people have connected with this album and found strength in these words makes me feel incredible and it doesn't make me feel as lonely.

"So thank you everybody who bought this record. You make me feel as though I'm part of something much bigger. This is a dream really."

Sande's debut album Our Version Of Events was the most popular album of 2012 in the UK, selling 1.4m copies.

She rounded off the show with a live performance of her tracks Clown and Next To Me.

Burst onto scene

The Brit Awards winners all received a trophy designed by controversial British artist Damien Hirst.

Sande was born in Sunderland of a Zambian father and English mother before moving to Alford with her parents, aged four, and being brought up in Scotland.

She burst into the music charts in 2009 when she featured on the Diamond Rings single by rapper Chipmonk.

Sande had become known for her songwriting - Cher Lloyd, Susan Boyle, Gabrielle, Rihanna, Leona Lewis, Alesha Dixon, Cheryl Cole and Tinie Tempah are among those to have benefitted from her talents - before signing a solo recording deal of her own.

The head teacher of Alford Academy, Moira Milne said: "Her successes last night and over the course of the last year are just reward for the incredibly hard work Emeli has put in over the years.

"We are all so proud of her. Everyone here at Alford Academy is speaking about her performance last night, she looked and sounded fabulous.

"There is a great buzz about the school. I know a few tears - happy tears - were shed by staff last night and pupils have said to me this morning 'Wow, she is such an inspiration to us', 'It's great to be an Alford pupil'.

"She is a very talented lady and it is a privilege for us to have such close links with her. We all pass on our congratulations to Emeli."

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