BRIT Awards announce 2020 shortlist for the new Rising Star Award

It was previously called the Critics' Choice Award

Ellie Goulding, Adele and Sam Smith

by Emma Dodds |
Updated on

The BRIT Awards is celebrating its 40th anniversary next year. The 2020 awards, which are taking place on Tuesday 18th February 2020, will be broadcast live on television so that fans who aren't able to get tickets can still be part of the show.

After revealing the brand new award trophy for 2020, the event organisers have also announced that performing artists will have more creative control over their performances at the show - and there'll be less awards presented on the night, to allow for more music.

BRIT Awards
©BRIT Awards © John Marshall/JMEnternational

But that's not all - as the organisers also revealed that they're changing the name of the prestigious Critics' Choice Award after 11 years, when Adele was the first winner. Launching some of the biggest careers in music right now, the Critics' Choice will now be known as the Rising Star Award.

And the first three contenders for the award have been announced - the 2020 shortlist for the BRITs Rising Star Award is Beabadoobee, Celeste and Joy Crookes.

Of her nomination, Beabadoobee said, "It’s suuuper cool to be nominated for the BRITs Rising Star award and I’m so grateful. 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!"

Celeste said, "My earliest memory of the BRITs was 2002, I was around 8 years old. 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."

And Joy Crookes said of the nomination, "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. 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!"

Scroll through to see the winners of the BRITs Critics' Choice Award so far...


BRITs Critics' Choice Award winners stacked

Adele holding BRIT Award1 of 15
CREDIT: u00a9 PA Images

Adele, 2008

Adele won the award in 2008 and has since gone on to enjoy world domination. The singer has released four albums, '19', '21' ,'25' and most recently, '30' in November 2021. With hits like 'Rolling In The Deep', 'Chasing Pavements' and 'Easy On Me', it is no surprise the singer is adored across the world by fans. After making her comeback to music in 2021, Adele is set for a massive 2022, which also includes a residency in Las Vegas.

Florence & The Machine holding BRIT Award2 of 15
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Florence & The Machine, 2009

Florence Welch of Florence & The Machine was given the award in 2009, much to her fans' delight. The singer went on to release amazing albums and perform at sell-out shows across the world.

Ellie goulding wearing a green top and black skirt as she shows of BRIT Award3 of 15
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Ellie Goulding, 2010

Ellie Goulding was crowned the winner of the award in 2010. Ellie went on to release four massive albums, with her latest arriving in 2020. In 2015, Ellie recorded the track 'Love Me Like You Do' for the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack.

Jessie J holding a BRIT Award4 of 15
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Jessie J, 2011

Jessie J won the award in 2011 and has smashed the charts ever since. After releasing her debut album 'Who You Are' in 2011, Jessie went on to achieve global success with hits like 'Domino', 'Price Tag' and 'Bang Bang' featuring Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj.

Emeli Sande holding her BRIT Award5 of 15
CREDIT: u00a9 PA Images

Emeli Sande, 2012

Emeli won in 2012 and released her massive debut album 'Our Version Of Events' in the same year. The singer went on to perform at the London Olympics closing ceremony in 2012. The singer went on to wow fans across the world with her incredible vocals on hits like 'Clown', 'Next To Me' and 'Heaven'.

Tom Odell holding BRIT Award6 of 15
CREDIT: u00a9 PA Images

Tom Odell, 2013

Singer-songwriter Tom Odell won the award in 2013, going on to release three albums since. His third studio album 'Jubilee Road' was released in late 2018, featuring massive hits 'Son of an Only Child' and 'If You Wanna Love Somebody'.

Sam Smith holding his BRIT Award7 of 15
CREDIT: u00a9 PA Images

Sam Smith, 2014

Since winning the award in 2014, Sam Smith hasn't look back! The vocalist has released two massive albums which include hits like 'Too Good At Goodbyes', 'One Last Song' and 'Promises'. After teaming up with Calvin Harris in 2018, Sam then worked with former Fifth Harmony singer Normani on the track 'Dancing With A Stranger' and has since released massive track 'Diamonds'.

James Bay wearing a hat and holding BRIT Award8 of 15
CREDIT: u00a9 PA Images

James Bay, 2015

One year after winning the award in 2015, James Bay went on to win a BRIT Award for Best British Male Solo Artist in 2016.The singer has since released amazing singles such as 'Hold Back The River' and 'Let It Go'.

Jack Garratt holding BRIT Award9 of 15
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Jack Garratt, 2016

Jack Garratt won in 2016 and continues to wow his fans with his vocal. The singer dropped his debut album 'Phase' in February 2016.

Rag'N'Bone Man10 of 15
CREDIT: u00a9REX/Shutterstock

Rag'N'Bone Man, 2017

Since Rag'n'Bone Man won the award in 2017, the singer has gone on to massive things.Not only did he drop the massive hit 'Human', Rag'n'Bone Man, real name Rory Graham, teamed up with Calvin Harris on the amazing song 'Giants'. In 2021, Rag'N'Bone Man released his new album 'Life by Misadventure'.

Jorja Smith11 of 15
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Jorja Smith, 2018

Singer-songwriter Jorja Smith won the award in 2018 at the age of just 20. Since winning the award last year, Jorja has released her debut album 'Lost & Found' which was positively received by fans.

Critics' Choice12 of 15
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Sam Fender, 2019

Sam Fender has become hugely popular over the last couple of years, so it's no surprise he won the award in 2019. His debut album 'Hypersonic Missiles' was adored by fans. Sam dropped his second album ' Seventeen Going Under' in October 2021.

CELESTE13 of 15
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Celeste, 2020

British singer-songwriter Celeste won the prestigious award in 2020, going on to perform at the 2020 ceremony. After her victory, Celeste released her debut studio album in January 2021 and her single 'A Little Love' featured on the 2020 John Lewis Christmas ad.

GRIFF14 of 15
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Griff, 2021

Singer-songwriter Griff picked up the award in 2021. Gushing over her win, she said: "In my head I'm still screaming from the phone call when I found out. It's honestly such a miracle: how on earth did we manage to win a BRIT and break through during a pandemic?"

Holly Humberstone15 of 15
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Holly Humberstone, 2022

Holly Humberstone picked up the award, now named the Rising Star Award, in 2022. She is known for her tracks 'London Is Lonely' and 'Falling Asleep At The Wheel'. On receiving the award, Holly said: "I remember watching the BRITs with my parents each year and being totally awe struck by the artists coming together in what felt like another universe. Now to be named the BRITs Rising Star and nominated alongside two other incredible women, with the songs that started within those four walls at home is so mad. It just doesn't feel real. This year has been a wild ride and a year of firsts, and I am so grateful and thankful for everyone who has helped make this happen!"

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According to an official release from organisers, the winner has always been chosen by a selected panel of music editors and critics from national press amongst others. The panel for next year's decision has been expanded to include songwriters, producers and live bookers who work with new rising talent on a regular basis.

Chief Executive, BPI and BRIT Awards Ltd Geoff Taylor said, "It’s always exciting to launch the next BRITs campaign, but it’s extra special to be announcing the 40th edition of the awards show.

"The BRITs Committee will endeavour to make the 2020 BRITs a truly landmark event, highlighting not only another remarkable 12 months in the British music year to a growing global audience, but also paying tribute to many unforgettable BRITs moments that are now part of a rich and much loved heritage."

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