The BRIT Awards Rising Star winner announced as Celeste

British Jamaican soul singer Celeste bags the BRITs' inaugural Rising Star prize.

The BRIT Awards have announced the winner of their inaugural Rising Star award as Celeste. 

The Rising Star award is the evolution of the Critics' Choice award which ran for 11 years and helped launch the careers of acts such as Adele, Florence + The Machine and Sam Smith. This year's winner Sam Fender went on to score a Number 1 debut album with Hypersonic Missiles.

British-Jamaican Celeste is a self-taught soul, funk and blues singer-songwriter, inspired by Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald. Last year she signed a record deal with Polydor.

Celeste is already selling out shows and scoring big support slots for Michael Kiwanuka, Janelle Monae and Neneh Cherry. Her track Strange looks set to be her mainstream breakthrough following support from BBC Radio 1.

Her Rising Star award win means she gets a performance slot at the 2020 BRIT Awards, which takes place on Tuesday, February 18 at The O2 Arena in London. It's the first time a Critics' Choice/Rising Star winner has been given a performance slot at the ceremony.

“It’s a huge honour to be the recipient of the BRITs Rising Star Award 2020," Celeste said. "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.”

Beabadoobee and Joy Crookes were also shortlisted for the prestigious prize, Since its inception as the Critics' Choice award in 2008 its winners have reportedly generated 135 million album sales worldwide.

Past BRITs Critics’ Choice winners:

2008- Adele
2009 - Florence + The Machine
2010 - Ellie Goulding
2011 - Jessie J
2012 - Emeli Sandé
2013 - Tom Odell
2014 - Sam Smith
2015 - James Bay
2016 - Jack Garratt
2017 - Rag ’n’ Bone Man
2018 - Jorja Smith
2019 - Sam Fender