Sam Smith, the singer widely tipped to top the music industry’s “sound of 2014” polls, has won the Brit Awards’ Critics’ Choice prize.
The 21-year-old singer/songwriter, who featured on dance duo Disclosure’s hit “Latch”, beat Ella Eyre and Chlöe Howl to win the honour.
Smith, who scored a number one with “La La La”, a collaboration with producer Naughty Boy, will be presented with his award by last year’s winner Tom Odell at The BRITs Are Coming, an ITV nominations show on January 9.
The singer from Bishop's Stortford was named by The Independent last month as the artist most likely to be given a career boost by a number of “2014 ones to watch” polls drawn up by music industry insiders.
Smith, who releases his debut album next year and is signed to Universal Music’s Capitol label, was seen as the safest choice for an industry breakthrough since he already featured on two hit singles and his sound matches the club-friendly pop which dominates the charts.
Last week Smith was named in the BBC Sound of 2014 longlist as well as tip-lists compiled by MTV, Shazam and video platform Vevo. Previous winners of the Brits Critics’ Choice award, chosen by music writers and broadcasting executives, include Adele, Emeli Sandé and Florence & The Machine.