Entertainment & Arts

Brits 2015: James Bay wins Critics' Choice award

James Bay Image copyright PA
Image caption James Bay will release his debut album in the spring

Singer-songwriter James Bay has been awarded the Brits Critics' Choice prize for 2015.

The 24-year-old beat fellow nominees George The Poet and trio Years and Years to win the award, which tips future success.

Chosen by industry experts, the prize is only open to new artists who will release their debut album next year.

Bay will formally receive his trophy - designed by Tracey Emin - at the Brit Awards on 25 February.

"I'm pretty speechless," Bay said. "After all the years I've spent watching the Brits and even after this year; watching my fan base grow so much, I never thought I'd actually be getting an award myself.

"I'm really chuffed, thank you to everyone who has supported me."

The singer has already performed to thousands, supporting acts including 2013 Critics' Choice winner Tom Odell and John Newman.

His debut album is due to be released in the spring and he will perform at the Brits nomination party next month along with FKA Twigs and Clean Bandit.

Previous Critics' Choice winners include Emeli Sande, Jessie J and Adele, who won the first award in 2008.

Smith was this year's recipient and his album, In The Lonely Hour, went on to become 2014's best-selling debut.

The 22-year-old also topped the BBC's Sound of 2014 list, and scooped four prizes at the Mobo awards.

Bay and runners-up George The Poet and Years and Years also feature on the longlist for the BBC's Sound Of 2015.

The winner of the BBC poll will be announced on 9 January.

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