Celeste, Beabadoobee and Joy Crookes have been nominated for the Rising Star award, previously known as the Critics’ Choice award, for the BRITs 2020. For the first time, the winner of this prestigious award will perform at the BRIT Awards ceremony on February 18.
The award is given to promising artists who are predicted to have great success in the coming year. Indeed, previous winners of this award include 10-time Grammy winner Adele, Sam Smith, Rag’n’Bone Man and Jorja Smith, all of whom went on to win further BRIT awards as well as other prestigious titles.
Hoping to emulate their successes at what will be the 40th BRIT Awards are the three female solo artist nominees whose genres span across indie-pop, soul and jazz.
Earning comparisons with the likes of Amy Winehouse and Billie Holiday, the British-Jamaican singer Celeste has been noted for her distinctly bluesy and chilling voice, often accompanied by soulful instrumentals. While she names classic singers like Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald as some of her earlier musical inspirations, Celeste highlights Frank Ocean, Solange, and Kanye West as some of the more modern artists she emulates.
South Londoner Joy Crooks is prized for her similarly soulful and beguiling music. Having released two EPs this year and gaining a slot at Glastonbury, the Bangladeshi-Irish artist has swiftly gained popularity in 2019 with her jazz-tinged sound.
Recalling her younger years, Joy Crooks said, “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 went on, “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”.
The 19-year-old, Philippines-born Beabadoobee impressed audiences with her very first song in 2017. “Coffee” was written in her bedroom in west London, and the muffled recordings on Spotify and Bandcamp received hundreds of thousands of plays within days. The songwriter’s sound is perhaps best described as 90s alternative pop, earning great popularity with a primarily Gen Z fanbase.
The winner of the award will be announced on December 6.