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Celeste announced as winner of the inaugural BRITs Rising Star award


Story by Jack Foley

THE BRIT Awards 2020 with Mastercard have today announced that Celeste is the winner of the inaugural BRITs Rising Star award.

In addition, she is the first performer to be confirmed for what will be the 40th BRIT Awards show on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at The O2 Arena in London.

Celeste said: “It’s a huge honour to be the recipient of the BRITs Rising Star Award 2020. Like many others, I grew up watching the BRITs and have been continually inspired by its nominees, winners and the performances. I hope to make the most of this incredible opportunity and I can’t wait to perform on the BRITs next year.”

This award arrives at a pivotal moment in Celeste’s musical career. The British-Jamaican singer discovered her love of music and singing through her grandad who introduced her to the old soul greats at an early age.

The two would listen endlessly to tapes of Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald while Celeste sang along, already identifying something in the raw emotion of those singers that she connected with. Entirely self-taught, she started performing music when she was 18, covering classic soul, funk and jazz songs and eventually gaining the confidence to start writing her own material.

Over the following years, she continued to hone her sound ahead of signing a major label deal with Polydor last year. Since then she has garnered critical acclaim for a string of singles, including Lately, Father’s Son and, latterly, Strange, which was heavily supported at BBC Radio 1.

Known for her incandescent voice and breath-taking live performance, she has sold out every London show this year – including three dates at Omeara – and supported the likes of Michael Kiwanuka, Janelle Monae and Neneh Cherry as well as duetting with Paul Weller.

She recently announced a UK headline tour next April, selling out Shepherd’s Bush Empire in a matter of days.

Beabadoobee and Joy Crookes were also shortlisted for the prestigious prize, which has this year evolved from its original name of BRITs Critics’ Choice.

Since its inception in 2008, this award has successfully predicted the future stars of British music including Adele, Florence + The Machine, Sam Smith and Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, resulting in over 135 million album sales worldwide.

As winner of the 2020 BRITs Rising Star award, Celeste will receive a performance slot on the main show for the first time in the awards history.