Although she didn't take home an award (she had no releases in the eligibility period) Adele was the biggest winner, with an intense performance of Someone Like You propelling the previously flagging track to number one on sales of 111,739 downloads while ensuring that parent album 21 remains atop the album chart.
With 21's first single. Rolling In The Deep, recovering 5-4 (53,889 sales), and Adele's first album, 19, rising 6-4 (39,637 sales), the 22-year-old becomes the first artist to simultaneously score two top five singles and albums since John Lennon achieved it posthumously some 30 years ago, with Woman and Imagine in the singles chart and Double Fantasy and Imagine in the album chart. Lennon also performed the feat as a member of The Beatles in 1964, when they were top five with the singles She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand, and the albums With The Beatles and Please Please Me.
After dipping 33-47 last week, Someone Like You makes the second biggest jump to number one in Top 75 history, being beaten only by the 73-1 jump made by Pixie Lott's Boys & Girls in 2009.
It also provides another boost for 21, which was already certain to remain atop the albums chart but does so very emphatically with sales of 188,767 copies - more than four times those of any other album - lifting its 27 day tally to 666,740.
The album has sold upwards of 100,000 in each of the last four weeks. In itself that's not too unusual - 35 different albums have racked up six figure sales four or more times in a row so far in the 21st century - but only two of the previous 34 did so outside of the Christmas period: Coldplay's X&Y and James Blunt's Back To Bedlam, both in 2005. The record for most consecutive weeks selling upwards of 100,000 is shared by Leona Lewis' 2007 debut Spirit and fellow X Factor graduates JLS' self-titled 2009 entree, both of which did it seven times in a row.
While Adele takes chart honours, other Brits winners and performers to enjoy major album resurgences include Mumford & Son, Tinie Tempah, Plan B, Arcade Fire and Laura Marling. Mumford & Son won the award for British album of the year for Sigh No More, which responds by leaping 15-2 (45,130 sales). That's the highest position the album has occupied in an unbroken 72- week chart tenure since its release, besting the number three peak it posted 19 weeks ago, and coincides with its Grammy-inspired 11-2 jump in America, its highest chart position there in a 47 week chart career. The band's singles The Cave (174-48, 7,423 sales) and Little Lion Man (177-53, 6,760 sales) are also resurgent and are joined in the Top 75 by their Brits performance of Timshel (number 71, 4,235 sales).
Tinie Tempah's Disc-Overy vaults 25-6 (28,587 sales) after he was voted best British breakthrough act, and picked up the best British single award for Pass Out, while another former number one - Plan B's The Defamation Of Strickland Banks - jumps 24-7 (24,560 sales) after his victory as best British male and performance of She Said/Prayin'.
Canadian band Arcade Fire were best international group and their album The Suburbs was best international album - a double whammy that propels the disc to a 23 week high, leaping 52-14 (13,763). Laura Marling was the unexpected winner of best British female singer and her current album I Speak Because I Can climbs 80-21 - its highest position for 46 weeks on sales of 9,041 copies.
In a week when The Brits supply much of the chart action, there are only two debuts in the Top 40: Dorset singer/songwriter PJ Harvey's secures the week's highest new entry and her first Top 10 album since 1993, with the critically acclaimed Let England Shake arriving at number eight (22,468 sales); and Glasgow band Mogwai rack up their seventh chart entry, with Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will (number 25, 7,878 sales).
The Brits effect is felt on the compilation chart, where the Brit Awards 2011 sampler jumps 3-1 (21,954 sales). It's the sixth Brits album to top the chart in the last eight years - and the two that didn't (in 2005 and 2008) both reached number two.
With Valentine's Day not falling until last Monday Monday and The Brits on Tuesday, album sales received a welcome double boost, climbing 2.34% week-on-week to 2,118,411 - 4.26% above same week 2010 sales of 2,031,920.
With Brits exposure of Someone Like You propelling the Adele track to number one on sales of 111,739 downloads, and Jessie J's Price Tag rallying to sell 92,463 copies as it slips 1-2, Lady GaGa's Born This Way - which was ahead in midweek sales flashes - remains at number three, albeit with sales up 34.20% to 82,487.
That's an unusually big sale for a number three single - the 14th highest in 581 chart weeks this century - and would be enough for a number one more often than not.
Adele's phenomenal achievements on the singles and albums charts this week are discussed more fully in our album analysis piece. Meanwhile, her2008 single Make You Feel My Love rallies again, climbing 25-24 (15,518 sales). It's the 13th time it has changed direction since it re-entered the chart 21 weeks ago - a record.
Best international female Rihanna performed a medley of her three Loud hits at the Brits, and the latest of them, S&M, takes advantage of the boost to climb 11-6 (49,716 sales). It thus becomes Rihanna's 17th Top 10 hit, and also helps parent album Loud to increase sales 38.14% week-on-week to 43,594, even though it remains at number three.
Rihanna's medley was not released via iTunes but most of the other Brits performances were, including Take That's show opener Kidz. Combined with the studio version of the track, it dashes to a number 31 debut (12,396 sales), becoming the group's 25th hit. Band member Robbie Williams has already had a hit with a different song with the more traditional spelling of Kids, reaching number two in partnership with Kylie Minogue in 2000.
After debuted at number 10 five weeks ago, JLS' Eyes Wide Shut had descended to number 17 but now surges to number eight. The band appeared on Alan Carr's Chatty Man show on Channel 4, which seems to have helped several guests recently. Perhaps more importantly, the version of the Eyes Wide Shut featuring Tinie Tempah has now been released. The 44,522 copies that all versions of the song sold last week lift its personal tally to 159,494, while pushing overall JLS singles sales past the 2m mark (to 2,013,598), of which debut Beat Again accounts for a top tally of 529,482 and follow-up Everybody In Love is runner-up with 426,427 sales.
Elsewhere in the Top 40, there are debuts for Rocketeer by Far East Movement/Ryan Tedder (number 14, 22,532 sales); the Anglo/American rock/hip-hop collaboration Rescue Me by You Me At Six feat. Chiddy Bang (number 21, 18,589 sales); and two of the four latest Glee Cast releases, Teenage Dream (number 36, 9,712 sales) and Start Me Up/Livin' On A Prayer (number 39, 9,106 sales). They are Glee Cast's 20th and 21st Top 40 hits - a comparatively modest tally when you consider they have had 112 Top 200 entries.
Singles sales increased 6.37% week-on-week to 3,360,767 - 15.79% above same week 2010 sales of 2,902,502.