LONDON, UK Friday May.28.2004 / -- Justin Hawkins and The Darkness are triumphant and will continue to wear spandex proudly. The music has spoken.

At Britain's prestigious Ivor Novello Awards ceremony yesterday, The Darkness took home the "Songwriters of the Year" award for their debut album, "Permission to Land." The Ivor Novello awards acknowledge excellence in British songwriters, composers and music publishers. Other honorees at Thursday's event included Radiohead for "International Achievement," and Dido, whose "White Flag" album was named "International Hit of the Year."

The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins told London radio station Xfm, "At the end of the day it reduces what we do to its purest essence which is what makes it OK to wear catsuits." Hawkins explained, "When you listen to the album you can't hear the catsuit presumably, and this is purely on an aural level. That's our craft and it's nice to be recognized for it."

Hawkins dedicated the award to "songwriters everywhere" and joked, "It's a great award, it's the heaviest." He added, "This is the biggest award you can get if you write your own songs. We have always wanted something like this but didn't expect to be in this position now. Now we've got here, we're not going to let it go."

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