Trio vying for critics' accolade
Chart-topping star Sam Smith is up against Chloe Howl and Ella Eyre in the running for the Critics' Choice honour at the Brit Awards.
The trio of relative newcomers has been shortlisted as tips for the top in coming months, hoping to follow in the footsteps of past winners such as Adele and Jessie J.
The winner of the prize will be announced next week and will be a guest at ceremony which takes place on February 19 at London's O2 Arena.
Sam already has a number one under his belt after his vocals were featured on Naughty Boy hit La La La, and he has also recorded with Disclosure, as well as releasing his first EP in his own right this year.
He said: " I have watched the Brits religiously for many years growing up. The people who have won before are to this day some of my favourite artists and biggest inspirations, so to even be up for this award is completely overwhelming for me."
Chloe landed a record deal within weeks of leaving school at the age of 18 and has supported John Newman on tour, releasing a single earlier in the year with a debut album to follow in 2014.
Ella - who like Jessie and Adele is a former Brit school student - has worked with the likes of Rudimental and Naughty Boy, with a debut EP to come out this month.
Nominations for the main categories at the ceremony - officially called the Brit Awards 2014 with MasterCard - will be announced in January.