Talented Scottish soul-pop artist and Voice On The Verge alumna Emeli Sandé has been named as the winner of the Critics’ Choice Award by the BRITs judging panel and will be on hand to receive her award at the 2012 BRIT Awards, which take place on February 21 at London’s O2 Arena. She’ll also perform at the nominations event on January 12. Sandé beat out competition from Maverick Sabre and Michael Kiwanuka to nab the crown, which rewards the best new artist of the year and is voted for by an array of music execs and assorted industry types. Her debut single ‘Heaven’ went to #2 in the charts, and was followed by #1 collaboration with Professor Green, ‘Read All About It’.
Sandé’s win marks the fifth time in a row that the prize has been lifted by a female artist in its five-year existence. The singer joins the hit-and-miss ranks of previous winners Adele, Jessie J, Florence Welch and Ellie Goulding. As previously reported, Emeli’s debut album Our Version Of Events is out January 30 through Virgin Records.
Interestingly, Emeli’s name was not among the fifteen longlisted contenders in the recently announced BBC Sound Of 2012 poll of, presumably, many of the same critics. The likely women in that poll are Azealia Banks, Friends, Lianne La Havas, Niki & The Dove, Ren Harvieu and Stooshe – our money’s on Azealia to win when the top five is revealed across the week of January 2.