Beatle's stunning performance lifts calamitous Osbourne-led ceremony
SIR PAUL McCARTNEY came to the rescue of a disaster-prone BRIT awards ceremony in London Earls Court last night (20 February 2008).
The show - broadcast live - was hosted by Sharon Osbourne and her clan, in a display of collective incompetence that brought back memories of Samantha Fox and Mick Fleetwood's calamity in 1989. Their car-crash hosting style was compounded by the drunken antics and performances of the nation's young music stars from a boozed up Arctic Monkeys to a fragile and vulnerable looking Amy Winehouse. Back to rehab? Yes, Yes, Yes.
Thankfully a commanding finale of hits by The Beatles legend helped lift the mood as he put his divorce troubles behind him with a storming performance.
The singer - who is embroiled in a bitter court battle with estranged wife Heather Mills - vowed to get back to doing what he does best as he picked up his Outstanding Contribution award at the prestigious London ceremony.
Accepting his award from Kylie Minogue - who he personally requested to hand him the honour - he said: "I was privileged to be in The Quarrymen, The Beatles and Wings. I do think British music is the best."
Paul closed the show in spectacular style with a medley of his hits, including 'Get Back', 'Dance Tonight' and 'Live and Let Die', which he dedicated to his late wife Linda.
As he sang the song, which was written by the couple in 1973, a video chronicling Paul's life was screened which included stills of vegetarian photographer Linda and images of his time with The Beatles.
The montage did not feature any pictures of Heather, who Paul was married to for four years.
The 65-year-old musician finished his set with Beatles classic 'Hey Jude' in tribute to his late bandmate John Lennon.
He later explained: "'Live and Let Die' is the song that reminds me of Linda. 'Hey Jude' reminds me of John."
BRIT Awards 2008 full list of winners:
Best British Album - Arctic Monkeys, 'Favourite Worst Nightmare'
Best British Male Solo Artist - Mark Ronson
Best British Female Solo Artist - Kate Nash
Best British Group Winner - Arctic Monkeys
Best British Single - Take That, 'Shine'
British Breakthrough Act - Mika
Best British Live Act - Take That
Best International Male Solo Artist - Kanye West
Best International Female Solo Artist - Kylie Minogue
Best International Group - Foo Fighters
Best International Album - Foo Fighters, 'Echoes, Silence, Patience and
Critic's Choice - Adele
Outstanding Contribution - Sir Paul McCartney