Williams, Twain, Evanescence hear Echos

BERLIN — Robbie Williams, Shania Twain and Arkansas rock band Evanescence were the international winners at the 13th Echo music awards in Berlin.

Winning international male rock/pop artist for a third consecutive year, Williams edged out Justin Timberlake, Seal and Eros Ramazzotti for the prize, handed out Saturday by the Deutsche Phono-Akademie and considered the world’s third-most important music awards after the Grammys and Brits.

Twain beat Dido, Madonna, Avril Lavigne and Christina Aguilera for top honors while Evanescence drew the Echo for international rock/pop group, beating Metallica, Simply Red, Linkin Park and Coldplay.

While Germany’s music industry has seen sales decline steadily over the last decade and continues to suffer from Internet piracy, local artists have been making steady headway in the local market and increasing their share. Domestic acts accounted for about 50% of the singles charts and 30% of album sales last year.

Among local Teutonic talent honored were Dick Brave (also known as Sasha) and Yvonne Catterfeld in national male and female pop artist categories. Veteran rock band Pur won an Echo for national band, while Berlin pop group Wir sind Helden picked up four awards.

Nominations for the awards are based on sales in Germany, the world’s fourth largest music market behind the U.S., Japan and the U.K., with 2002 sales of E2.1 billion ($2.6 billion). Winners in the 26 categories are selected by a jury.

Highlight of the evening was a show-stopping perf by Anastacia.

(Reuters contributed to this report.)

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