24 year-old British singer-songwriter James Bay has been awarded the prestigious, career-launching Brits Critics’ Choice award. The folksy soul singer will collect his award during the official ceremony on February 25th 2015 and will release his debut album in the following spring.
With James Bay earning the 8th Critics’ Choice award, we rank the five most successful winners below:
5) Florence & The Machine
Florence Welch and Isabella Summers unique blend of indie-pop and gothic rock were virtually unknown until they won the Critics’ Choice Award and there wasn’t a single person who didn’t know the words to Dog Days Are Over. Florence & The Machine’s debut album Lungs went straight to number 2 in the UK Album Charts for its first five weeks. Lungs remained in the charts for twenty-eight consecutive weeks before storming to the top of the charts at number one when Florence joined Dizzee Rascal for an intensifying performance of You Got The Dirtee Love. Their second album Ceremonials went straight to number one when it was released in 2012. Things have been peculiarly quiet in the Florence & The Machine camp, but we can only hope it’s new material.
4) Ellie Goulding
When we first met Ellie Goulding, she was an indie-folk singer-songwriter who had a lot of troubles. Now she’s got two number one albums under her belt, a tonne of star-studded relationships including Skrillex, Greg James and currently Dougie Poynter, and is the princess of synth-pop. She has had five top five singles including the number one summer anthem, Burn, as well as the emotionally beautiful Elton John cover, Your Song and the electro-pop ballad Anything Could Happen. With her Critics’ Choice award, lots of things happened for her.
3) Sam Smith
Sam Smith is no longer in the ‘lonely hour’ as he’s one of the nation’s most-loved voices after he won the 2014 Critics’ Choice Award. His soulful tear-jerking songs of love and loss have brought him the love of millions as well as a number one album, two number one singles (Money On My Mind and Stay With Me), 6 nominations for the 57th Grammys. If that’s not enough, he’s rumoured to be singing the theme for the upcoming James Bond movie, Spectres.
2) Emeli Sande
She’s opened and closed the Olympics. She’s performed at the White House for President Obama. She has the best-selling album of 2012 in Our Version Of Events. She has three number one singles; Read All About It, Next To Me, and Beneath Your Beautiful. Is there anything Emeli Sande hasn’t done or doesn’t have? She’s releasing her eagerly anticipated second album in 2015 and all eyes will be firmly locked on her return as she makes her ascension as the queen of modern day soul.
37 million records sold. 10 Grammys. 2 number one albums. 5 top five songs. The first ever Brits Critics’ Choice Award winner happens to be the most successful out of all of them. Adele’s stunning debut, 19, went straight to number one. Her second album, 21, did the same and went 16-times platinum. No words can really describe the success Adele has achieved since winning her award.