BBC Sound has finally issued their shortlist of 2020. This year, Celeste, a 25-year-old rising soul star, is announced as the winner of the poll, together with Easy Life as the runner-up and Yungblud as the second runner-up.
— BBC Entertainment (@BBCNewsEnts) January 9, 2020
Celeste Waite is a singer/songwriter who was born in Los Angeles but raised in Brighton. Her musical inspiration is due to jazz and soul legends like Ella Fitzgerald, Otis Redding, Billie Holiday and Aretha Franklin.
“Sirens” is her first single written when she was only 17 years old. The song is dedicated to her Jamaican father who was taken away by cancer. Prior to Celeste’s major breakthrough with Polydor Records, she was signed by Lily Allen to Bank Holiday Records and released the first EP titled Milk & Honey.
Joined with the previous winners like Adele, Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, HAIM, and Sigrid, Celeste is now ready for the spotlight in the music scene. She is praised for her sharp songwriting skills, killer vocal, and timeless soul sound. “Strange” has become her most well-known song so far, and recently the soul songstress just shared her new single “Stop This Flame”.
Alongside Celeste, Easy Life—a five-piece alternative band from Leicester—took the second place of the list. The quintet has risen up to fame with their hard-to-pin-down genres mixed between hip-hop, R&B, jazz, psychedelic electronica, and pop altogether. “Pockets” is the band’s very first single released back in 2017 and has since become their most well-known song to date. Now, Easy Life is signed to Island Records.
Placed at the third on the list is Dominic Richard Harrison, or professionally known as Yungblud. He is a 20-year-old singer/songwriter from Doncaster who rose to fame because of his frank and in-your-face kind of music that mainly takes jabs at social issues such as gun control (“Machine Gun“) and parent generations (“parents”). His music is bending between hip-hop beats and pop melodies.
Joy Crookes comes at the fourth winner of the poll. Crookes is a 21-year-old singer/songwriter from London whose music can be described as neo soul, R&B, and raggae with the likes of Lily Allen and Jorja Smith. Gearing up for the release of her debut album this year, the singer has released three EPs so far, with Reminiscence and Perception dropped earlier in 2019.
At the fifth place is Inhaler, an emerging rock band from Dublin. The band consists of four members, one of which is Elijah Hewson, the very son of U2’s lead singer Bono. “Ice Cream Sundae” is their most recent single that receives a lot of attention from the media and music critics.
Back in November 2019, Celeste was also announced as the nominee of the Brit Rising Star Award. If she wins this award, the singer will get to perform at the Brit Awards which will take place on February 18.