Critics’ Choice Award nominees

Frances, Izzy Bizu and Jack Garratt are in contention to be the first winner of The BRIT Awards 2016 with nominations for the Critics' Choice Award.

Berkshire singer Frances, London soul star Bizu and multi-instrumentalist Garratt were named on today’s (24 November) shortlist to become the ninth winner of a BRIT that is synonymous with future British recording talent.

Frances, who recently wowed in Radio 1’s Live Lounge with a cover of Justin Bieber’s ‘What Do You Mean?’, is currently touring in the US following a UK headline tour. Her new single ‘Borrowed Time’ is out soon and was co-written with Howard Lawrence from Disclosure.

On hearing the news, Frances said: "It's such a huge honour to be nominated for the Critics' Choice award. I've followed the BRITs my whole life, but never thought I'd be lucky enough to be nominated. It's amazing to be part of something that has included so many of my idols and musical inspirations. An amazing feeling. Thank you."

Bizu too is working on her debut album with ‘A Moment of Madness’ due for release next May. She was discovered at the ILuveLive open mic night, an early platform for both Wretch 32 and Jessie J.

She told us: “I’m so honoured to be nominated for the BRITs Critics’ Choice Award this year, following in the footsteps of amazingly talented artists like Adele, Emeli Sandé and James Bay so thank you! I grew up watching the BRITs on the TV at home so it's pretty exciting to be a part of it!”

Garratt’s first album, ‘Phase’, is out on 19 February and he also currently finds himself on the road with dates supporting Mumford & Sons in the coming weeks, all following a sold-out UK tour of his own.

He said: "It's amazing to be nominated for the BRITs Critics’ Choice Award 2016. It's such a significant award that highlights the importance of new music, so it's a genuine honour to have been nominated alongside some other incredible new acts from the UK.”

Since launching in 2008, each year the BRIT Critics’ Choice winner has gone on to achieve incredible things.  Last year’s winner James Bay’s debut album ‘Chaos and the Calm’ charted at No. 1 upon its release in March and has gone on to become one of the biggest selling albums of 2015. Past winners include Adele (2008), Florence + The Machine (2009) and Sam Smith (2014)

Upon today’s announcement of the shortlist, the three nominated artists have been inducted into the BRITs Voting Academy and are now eligible themselves to vote for The BRIT Awards 2016.

The Critics’ Choice Award is 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 2016 and over 100 artists from a range of genres were considered for the award.

The 2016 Critics' Choice Award winner will be announced on Friday 27 November.