Fantastical wheeled vehicles, roller- skating warriors and bursts of fire brought the London Paralympics to a close, in a quirky ceremony headlined by Coldplay, Rihanna and Jay-Z.
British supergroup Coldplay provided the backdrop to a three-hour extravaganza, interspersed with dance and performance at the Olympic Stadium in east London, belting out hits including Clocks, The Scientist, and Yellow.
"Being asked to play at the Paralympics closing ceremony in our home town is a huge honor," lead singer Chris Martin said. "This will be the biggest night of our lives."
The band, who have sold more than 50 million records globally, accepted a 1 (HK$12.40) fee to headline the show.
The ceremony kicked off with a procession of fire jugglers, a parade of drummers carrying blazing beacons, and a giant burning model cyclist who wheeled around the stadium.
Dressed unusually modestly in a flowing orange gown and veil, Rihanna sailed into the show on board a model ship and sang a steamy duet with Martin, before performing another number on a swing strung high over the stadium.
Trapeze artists tumbled from the skies as sparks flew from above their heads in a festival-themed show watched by 80,000 spectators in the stadium and millions worldwide on television.
Drummer Mat Fraser, who was born with deformed arms, performed a number with Coldplay.
A cast of 1,336 volunteers from all over and more than 50 drummers were also among the performers, with themes ranging from military sacrifice to the changing seasons.
The next Paralympic hosts, Rio de Janeiro, provided a carnival-flavored taste of 2016 with a colorful segment featuring "dance battles" between performers of different styles.
Roberta Marquez and Thiago Soares, both Brazilian stars of the British Royal Ballet, performed with a group of Brazilian visually impaired dancers. There was a huge sigh from the packed stadium as International Paralympic Committee chief Philip Craven declared the London Games officially closed, before British athletes Ellie Simmonds and Jonnie Peacock extinguished the flame.
US rapper-producer Jay-Z lifted the mood, joining Coldplay and Rihanna - now wearing a more customary transparent top and shiny black skirt - to perform his hit, Run This Town.