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New sensation Arctic Monkeys grab three NME awards

By Staff
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LONDON, Feb 24 (Reuters) The Arctic Monkeys, who have ridden a wave of Internet hype to top the charts, stole the headlines at the NME music awards yesterday with three prizes, including Best British Band.

The young quartet from Sheffield became the first group at the NME awards to be named Best New Band and Best British Band, and also picked up the Best Track award for their high-octane No. 1 single ''I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor''.

The song is one of two singles released so far from their debut album ''Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not'', which became the fastest-selling debut album in British history last month.

More than 360,000 copies were sold in the first week alone, prompting comparisons with Oasis and even the Beatles in terms of instant impact.

The Kaiser Chiefs, who had led the nominations stakes with six, won only one award on the night, although it was the high profile Best Album category for ''Employment''.

The NME, or New Musical Express, bases its decisions on what the fans say. More than 80,000 people took part in this year's voting.

The Best Live Band award went to Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand, and veterans Oasis did not go home empty-handed, winning the Best Video category for ''The Importance of Being Idle.'' Other prizes on the night included Best International Band, which went to The Strokes, and Best Solo Artist, which went to Chicago rapper Kanye West.

REUTERS SB SSC1043

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