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Dido scoops music prizes, sexy J-Lo hits top note

Chart-topping singer/songwriter Dido added two top awards to her growing list of music accomplishments on Saturday, but sexy singer-actress Jennifer Lopez stole the show as best female artist.

Pop princess Britney Spears also got pulses racing at the music industry’s NRJ awards on the French Riviera with a raunchy performance of her latest single “I’m a Slave 4 U,” before crowning her “king of pop” Michael Jackson as best male star.

Dido, who shot to fame in 1999 when bad-boy rapper Eminem sampled her song “Thank You” for his hit tune “Stan,” landed best album and best newcomer. The nods were a coup for the 30-year-old British star who was recently struck off the best newcomer list at the Brit awards after organizers realized she had been on the music scene for too long to be eligible.

Dido fought off competition in the best album category from old favorites and multi-Grammy nominees U2 with her album “No Angel,” which propelled her into the ranks of Britain’s best selling female recording artist last year.

Bronx-born Lopez, known as J-Lo on her recent album, walked away with best female artist, beating an impressive line-up including Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Geri Halliwell and Mariah Carey at a glittering awards gala which kicked off Midem, the music industry’s top trade gathering.

Former Spice Girl Halliwell went on to swoop best song of the year with “It’s Raining Men” which she performed barefoot in an eyebrow raising show as the petite star gyrated on stage in little more than a pair of underwear.

It was not the first time Halliwell has made a splash at the NRJ awards in Cannes. Two years ago, she thrilled fans in a transparent green dress.

Michael Jackson, whose recent album “Invincible” has hardly had fans raving, was not in Cannes to pick up his award but had Spears eulogizing the reclusive popstar.

“He’s still my king of pop,” Spears told a news conference earlier in the day.

Mick Jagger added a touch of old rock to the relatively young line-up, wriggling his hips and strutting his stuff on stage to a song from his latest album.

French artist Garou collected three awards – best French duet of the year with Celine Dion, best French male artist and best artist voted by Wanadoo website clients. Listeners of pop radio network NRJ voted the other categories.

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