The shortlist for the critics’ choice award at the 2012 Brits has been revealed.
Emeli Sandé, Michael Kiwanuka and Maverick Sabre are up for the prize, which will be announced on Thursday 15 December ahead of the full Brits ceremony in February.
The award, won in previous years by Adele, Florence and the Machine and Jessie J (pictured), is presented to the act deemed by industry experts to be the most likely to enjoy mainstream success next year.
Scottish singer-songwriter Sandé, who quit a medical degree to pursue her musical career, sold out her recent tour, has written tracks for Leona Lewis and Tinie Tempah, and has guested on songs with Wiley, Professor Green and Chipmunk.
North London soul singer Kiwanuka gets his second nod of the week after his inclusion in the BBC’s Sound of 2012 longlist, while London-born singer Maverick Sabre started out as a rapper before going on to support the Script on tour and appear on Later… with Jools Holland.
Acts are only eligible for the award if they are signed to a record label and are due to release their debut album in 2012, and more than 100 artists were considered for the prize.
The announcement follows the news earlier this week that Britpop legends Blur are to be given the outstanding contribution award at the Brits, to be held on 12 February at the O2 arena.