Belfast Telegraph

Say hello to the next big thing: Jorja Smith wins early Brit Award

She joins a prestigious line of previous winners including Adele and Sam Smith.

Singer Jorja Smith has been named the winner of the Critics’ Choice Award for the 2018 Brit Awards.

Smith’s win caps off a successful run that has seen her pick up three Mobo Award nominations this year.

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The 20-year-old from Walsall was also one of the artists to take part in the Artists For Grenfell track, Bridge Over Troubled Water, and earlier this year she collaborated with Canadian superstar Drake on his March release “playlist”, called More Life.

She will be the first person to receive the Brits’ new trophy, designed by acclaimed artist Anish Kapoor.

Smith said: “I cannot believe it, it’s been an unforgettable 2017 during which I’ve fulfilled so many of my dreams and this is such a special way to end the year… and to be part of an all-female shortlist alongside Mabel and Stefflon Don, who’ve both had incredible 2017s, makes it even better!

“There’s lots more to come in 2018 from all of us and I will do my best to make it another memorable year!”

Brits chairman Jason Iley, who is also the chairman and CEO of Sony Music UK & Ireland, said: “The Critics’ Choice Award has an incredible track record of showcasing some of the most exciting up-and-coming artists for the last 10 years.

“Jorja Smith has a huge future ahead of her and looks set to follow in the footsteps of the most successful past Critics’ Choice winners.”

She beat the other two shortlisted acts – Mabel and Stefflon Don – to be named winner.

The three finalists were picked from a selection of more than 100 artists who have boosted their musical career over the last year.

Judges included music editors from newspapers, magazines and websites, as well as a variety of music heads at radio and TV stations.

The Critics’ Choice prize comes weeks before the official Brit Awards ceremony, which will next year mark its 38th show.

It will take place at London’s O2 Arena, and will be broadcast on ITV.

Last year’s winner was Rag’n’Bone Man, real name Rory Graham, and previous winners of the accolade include Adele, who received the first Critics’ Choice award in 2008, and names like Sam Smith and Emeli Sande.

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