ENYA has swept the boards at the World Music Awards, collecting a hat-trick of gongs including Best Selling Female Artist.

The reclusive star beat Britney Spears and Kylie Minogue to triumph at the glamorous ceremony in Monte Carlo on Wednesday night.

Stars at the awards included Destiny’s Child, Enrique Iglesias and Kylie.

The 40-year-old singer, who has sold more than 44million albums worldwide, made a huge comeback last year with her album A Day Without Rain.

And her work on the Lord of the Rings soundtrack won her a Grammy Award last month.

Enya said: “It’s a massive honour for me and I want to thank the fans. I didn’t know how the fans would react when I was away for so long.

“It’s nights like this that you remember for a long time and I’m truly grateful to receive the honour.”

The multi-millionaire, who lives at Ayesha Castle in Killiney, Co Dublin, was the surprise winner of the night.

Experts predicted that Britney Spears would clean up at the bash in the Monte-Carlo Sporting Club.

Enya said: “I can see the popularity of what people like Britney are doing but it’s good to see that other music styles are given recognition too.

“When I was up getting the awards I was looking at all the stars in the crowd like Kylie and Enrique. To be in the same company and still come out as a winner is a great feeling.

“I don’t really indulge in the showbiz lifestyle but you couldn’t help but get carried away with it all tonight.”

Kylie said she wasn’t upset after loosing out to Enya, adding: “She is a very talented person. I’ve always been a big fan of Enya and it just goes to show that there is still a place in mainstream music for a classical sound. She has such a beautiful voice and it has stood the test of time. People all over the world still love her.”

After scooping the awards Enya said: “I have always had a lot of support from people in the pop industry. I find my music can cross over.

“Kids come up to me and say they like the album and their parents will listen to it too. I think that’s the success of staying in the business for a long time.”

The Mirror (London, England) | Mar 8, 2002