LONDON • At age 15, Dua Lipa moved to London alone from Kosovo and worked as a model and in a nightclub while she chased her musical dreams.
On Wednesday, the hard work paid off when she and Stormzy were feted at this year's Brit Awards, Britain's most high-profile pop music prizes.
Lipa was named best female solo artist and breakthrough act at the event held in London.
Rapper Stormzy won the British male solo artist prize and the prestigious British album of the year for Gang Signs & Prayer.
Ed Sheeran took the global success award, but lost in the three other categories in which he was nominated. One Direction star Harry Styles won for video of the year by a British artist.
Foo Fighters took the prize for international group while American rapper Kendrick Lamar was named best international male artist, with New Zealand singer Lorde taking the female solo artist honours.
The event featured performances from the likes of Sheeran, Lipa and Lamar, who rapped on top of a glass cube containing a car that was smashed up by a man wielding a bat.
Lamar's act appeared to suffer from technical difficulties that muted periods of his performance, leading fans to express their frustration on social media.
Other artists went for a grand scale.
Justin Timberlake opened the show with a rendition of Say Something, accompanied by a scores-strong choir dotted throughout the audience.
Lipa was accompanied by dozens of dancers, also scattered throughout the arena.
Many of the stars wore white roses on the red carpet and during the show as a gesture of support for the Time's Up and #MeToo movements against sexual harassment.
"It does make a difference," Lipa said on the red carpet.
"We are protesting in our own way and this is how we're going to make a difference."
The show also saw Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher perform Live Forever in a tribute to the victims of a suicide bombing attack on a venue hosting a concert by pop star Ariana Grande in Manchester in May last year, which killed 22 people.
British media outlets reported that Gallagher had been added to the line-up at the last minute to replace a planned tribute performance by Grande, who dropped out because of illness.