The BRIT Awards 2012 with MasterCard

Shortlist for the prestigious Critics’ Choice Award announced today
Tuesday 21st February 2012 at The O2 Arena, London 
Exclusively broadcast live on ITV 1

The countdown to the most exciting music awards ceremony in Britain continues today with the announcement of the three artists shortlisted for the prestigious BRITs Critics’ Choice Award in association with War Child.  

This year's shortlisted nominees are Emeli SandeMaverick Sabre and Michael Kiwanuka.
The winner will be announced, alongside second and third place, next week on Thursday 15th December.

The Critics’ Choice Award is for new British acts that the critics tip for mainstream success in the forthcoming year.  In previous years it has been awarded to Jessie J (2011) Ellie Goulding (2010), Florence and the Machine (2009) and Adele (2008). The artists are chosen by a team of experts including the music editors of national newspapers, key music and lifestyle magazines and music websites plus the heads of music at major radio and music TV stations. The Award is open to artists signed to a label who are set to release their debut albums in 2012 and over 100 artists from a range of genres were considered for the award.  Upon today’s announcement of the shortlist, the three nominated artists were immediately inducted into the BRITs Voting Academy and are now eligible themselves to vote for The BRIT Awards 2012, following last year’s inclusion of artists in the academy for the first time.

For the third year running, the Critics’ Choice Award will also be presented in association with War Child, an international charity that protects children living in the world’s most dangerous war zones. 

The BRIT Awards’ involvement with War Child complements a long standing association with the Awards’ own BRIT Trust charity.  The Awards have raised more than £13m for the Trust, whose main beneficiaries are the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology - - the only free performing arts school in the UK, Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy - - and other selected charities which match the mission criteria.

Emeli Sande
Scottish singer-songwriter Emeli Sande first found fame after featuring on Chipmunk’s single ‘Diamond Rings’ and she has since appeared on tracks with Wiley, Devlin and Professor Green. She has also written for various artists including Leona Lewis, Susan Boyle and Tinie Tempah and released her debut solo single ‘Heaven’ in August which entered the UK charts at No.2. Emeli received rave reviews for her recent headline sold out tour and is currently supporting Coldplay across the UK and Europe. Her hugely anticipated debut album 'Our Version of Events' will be released in February 2012.

Maverick Sabre
Maverick Sabre has quickly established himself as one of the most unique voices in UK pop. A genuine talent who worked his way to prominence, his voice has done the talking. Retro-tinged soul numbers meet the hardened lyrics of his past. It’s the sound of a man that has lived a life, with no outside assistance, just his voice and an indefinable inner belief.  London-born and Irish raised, his childhood has given him a unique voice, blending the accents he picked up in the two areas of his childhood with a natural voice that he has developed since first emerging with his ‘The Travelling Man’ mixtape. At first a rapper, he found his own voice over time, and this is what shines through here. As a socially-aware voice for his generation, he is in a unique position for these uncertain times.

Michael Kiwanuka
Young North London soul star Michael Kiwanuka has been turning heads with his timeless vocal since supporting Adele across the UK and Europe earlier this year.  His debut EP  ‘Tell Me A Tale’ and the forthcoming ‘Home Again’ EP underline exactly why his soulful R&B guitar songs are so effortlessly alluring.