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Newcomer Ellie Goulding scoops Critics' Choice award

Up-and-coming act Ellie Goulding, who has yet to make the top 40, today landed a Brit Award.

The virtually unknown singer follows Adele and Florence And The Machine by bagging the Brits Critics' Choice prize.

She landed the award - which she will collect live at the Brits in February - ahead of other shortlisted acts, Delphic and Marina And The Diamonds.

Goulding, 22, will perform at the Brits nomination launch at The IndigO2 on January 18 which will be televised on ITV2.

The award is for emerging acts which music critics, plus radio and TV music supremos, believe will make a breakthrough in 2010. It is open to signed acts who release their debut albums in the coming year.

Goulding's debut single Under The Sheets was played on BBC Radio 1 and she has also appeared on BBC2's Later with Jools Holland. The single peaked at only number 53 in the charts but she has had further exposure with support slots alongside Little Boots.

Her debut album is out in March with a new single to be released a week after the Brit Awards, which take place on February 16.

The singer from Hereford said: "When I found out I had a little squeal, I had a little cry and I had a little fall down. I didn't believe it at first, but now that it's sunk in I am delighted and utterly honoured to have been given this award. I couldn't be more happy and thankful to everyone right now."

Brits chairman Ged Doherty said: "We have no doubt that Ellie Goulding will follow in the successful footsteps of Adele and Florence And The Machine - we wish her all the best."