Belfast Telegraph

Net poet up for Critics Choice gong

A poet who shot to fame performing for huge audiences on YouTube has been shortlisted for a prestigious music industry award.

George The Poet, who grew up in north-west London and studied at Cambridge University, is one of three acts in the running for the Critics Choice Award at next year's Brits.

The 23-year-old, real name George Mpanga, regularly uploads tracks to the video-sharing site and has had more than half-a-million hits online.

He said he felt "privileged" to have been shortlisted, adding: "I always dreamed of reaching people and this nomination shows me that I'm on track."

The other nominees are singer-songwriter James Bay and London trio Years & Years whose frontman, Olly Alexander, has already carved out a successful career as an actor.

He has appeared in Skins and The Riot Club, which is based on the infamous Bullingdon Club - an unofficial Oxford University club which counts Prime Minister David Cameron among its former members and is known for its riotous behaviour.

Previous winners of the Critics Choice Award include Adele, Ellie Goulding and Jessie J - who have gone on to have huge success.

The 2014 winner, Sam Smith, has had a number one album and two chart-topping singles this year.

The winner is chosen by a panel of music industry insiders and entry is open to any acts signed to a record label and due to release their debut album in 2015.

They will be announced next month ahead of the main Brit Awards which are held at London's O2 in February.

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