The BRIT Awards 2020 with Mastercard has revealed the shortlist for the 2020 Rising Star award - Beabadoobee, Celeste and Joy Crookes are the three acts in the running.
It’s a revamped award as part of the big shake-up by showrunner and Universal Music UK CEO/chairman David Jospeh at next year’s BRITs, exclusively revealed by Music Week. The ceremony takes place on February 18.
The award has evolved from the BRITs Critics’ Choice. Since its launch in 2008, the category has helped to break UK artists including Adele, Florence + The Machine, Sam Smith and Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, resulting in over 135 million album sales worldwide.
The winner of the 2020 BRITs Rising Star award will receive a performance slot on the main show, in order to underline the BRITs’ commitment to championing and supporting new British music. While BRIT Critics’ Choice winners have appeared on the televised ceremony staged by the BPI in previous years, they did not get to perform.
At just 19 years old, Beabadoobee has built her fanbase with self-released recordings.
"It’s super cool to be nominated for the BRITs Rising Star award and I’m so grateful,” she said. “It’s so weird to think that writing music in my bedroom could appeal to so many people. Thank you so much to anyone who has voted for me.”
To be nominated for the Rising Star award is a huge honour, especially to recognised this early on in my career
Born in Los Angeles but Brighton-raised, the British-Jamaican singer Celeste signed a major label deal with Polydor last year and publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music. She has released singles including Lately, Father’s Son and Strange, which was added to the B list at Radio 1.
“My earliest memory of the BRITs was 2002, I was around eight years old,” she said. “MC Romeo had me at ‘turn up the bass line’ and MisTeeq were the women I wanted to be when I grew up. It was a cold winter evening and I was glued to my television, I remember being in a frenzy with every word they sang. It was in that exact moment that I thought I would like to be a part of that one day. To be nominated for the Rising Star award is a huge honour, especially to recognised this early on in my career.”
South London’s Joy Crookes has racked up eight million YouTube views for a performance of Mother May I Sleep With Danger. This year she played Radio 1’s Big Weekend and Glastonbury, as well as headline sold-out shows across the UK and Europe.
"I remember watching the BRITs as a child - especially seeing my favourites like Lily Allen, Corinne Bailey Rae and Amy Winehouse up on the screen,” she said. “I’ve always looked up to these inspiring and strong women so to be able to be recognised in the same way they were is insane - thank you so much to anyone who has supported me to get here!”
To date this award has been chosen by a specially selected panel of music editors and critics from the national press and online music editors, plus heads of music at major radio and music TV stations. This year, for the inaugural Rising Star Award, the panel has been expanded to include more tastemakers including songwriters, producers and live bookers.
The award is open to British artists who, as of October 31, 2019, have not yet achieved an Official Album Charts Top 20 placing or achieved more than one Top 20 chart placing in the Official Singles Chart.
The 2020 Rising Star award winner will be announced on Friday, December 6.