David Bowie misses out on Q Awards
Rock legend David Bowie has been left empty-handed at this year's Q Awards, despite receiving six nominations.
A shocked Ellie Goulding beat him to the prize for best solo artist, while Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro trounced him in the best album category.
Accepting the prize, singer Simon Neil said: "I think I speak on every award winner's behalf when I say thank goodness David Bowie didn't turn up."
The winners are chosen by readers of Q magazine and its website.
Pop star Goulding told the BBC her win was "very unexpected", but that Bowie "not being around might have something to do with it".
"I was very shocked - and nervous because I'm terrible at public speaking."
New York quartet Vampire Weekend were named "best act in the world today", and joked the award was a vindication.
"The first show Vampire Weekend ever did was a battle of the bands at our college," said frontman Ezra Koenig. "It was four bands and we came in third place.
"So we've always had a complex - we're not even the second best, not even in our college.
"So now, even if it's just for one day, to be called the best act in the world really feels like a nice 'screw you' to those guys that beat us."
Other awards went to Arctic Monkeys, who won best single for Do I Wanna Know?; while Welsh band The Manic Street Preachers took home best video, for Show Me The Wonder.
A miniature love story starring Submarine actor Craig Roberts, the video was filmed in the Pioneer Working Men's Club in Porth, Rhondda Valleys in South Wales.
Comic Al Murray quipped as the band picked up their award: "The Manic Street Preachers: Apart from Doctor Who, the only industry left in Wales."
Glastonbury won best event of 2013, beating Bowie's exhibition at the V&A Museum, and Kraftwerk's series of 3D live shows at Tate Modern.
The award was presented by Ronnie Wood, who headlined Glastonbury with the Rolling Stones this summer.
But he seemed not to recognise Michael Eavis and his daughter Emily, introducing them on the stage as "the organiser and his partner".
He later apologised for the mistake, and Michael Eavis seemed unfazed - praising the Stones' "absolutely brilliant" set.
But the Stones were beaten by Oxford rockers Foals in the battle to be named best live band.
Lead singer Yannis Philippakis, said: "It shows you don't need a backing track, you don't need affectation, you don't need Elvis Presley impersonations".
The latter comment was a thinly-veiled jibe at Arctic Monkeys' frontman Alex Turner, who has recently adopted a fulsome quiff and some of Elvis's stage mannerisms.
Philippakis later told the BBC that concerts should be "magic" and "alchemy".
"I just think you don't need a schtick. It doesn't need to turn into Blackpool, Butlins stuff."
Robbie is 'Q Idol'
Bowie had been expected to win several prizes following his surprise comeback in January,
The Next Day marked the 66-year-old's return after a 10-year hiatus, and was awarded five stars in Q's April edition.
The magazine called it "a loud, thrilling, steamrollingly confident rock and roll album full of noise, energy, and words that... sound like they desperately need to be sung".
Award host Al Murray said: "The audience are intelligent persons of sophisticated taste and intuition. I'll let them surmise their own conclusion from the fact Bowie wasn't here and didn't win anything."
However, he was not the only artist to walk away empty-handed.
Daft Punk, the French dance duo whose inescapable single Get Lucky has contributed to the best year for British single sales in history, also failed to win any of the three categories in which they were nominated.
The annual ceremony also distributes a number of lifetime achievement awards, decided by "Q's resident musical experts".
This year's recipients included Chrissie Hynde (classic songwriter), Robbie Williams (Q Idol) and reinvigorated rock band Suede (Q Icon).
Williams joked as he collected his award: "Sorry I couldn't be here in person to receive this.
"Of all the made-up awards to get a celebrity to an awards show, this is definitely one of them."
Williams was also on hand to present The Pet Shop Boys with the Outstanding Contribution to Music award.
"It's great they get this," he said, adding they "invented a blueprint for pop" and calling them "my favourite band".
Q's senior editor Matt Mason said: "We keep being told that these are tough times for the industry, but the evidence here suggests the opposite.
"We're particularly delighted to salute evergreen artists such as Robbie, the Pet Shop Boys and Suede, who've all made excellent new music over the last 12 months.
"They're brilliant reminders of the enduring power of the great British pop act."