Brit Awards 2020: Celeste Named Critics' Choice Winner, But How Did Past Recipients Do?

The award has helped spawn many a British star, while others have failed to live up to the title.

The first of next year’s Brit Awards winners has been revealed, with organisers announcing the recipient of the Rising Star prize.

In 2020, the title – which has been renamed from the Critics’ Choice as part of a wave of changes for next year’s ceremony – will go to British singer/songwriter Celeste, beating fellow shortlisters Beabadoobee and Joy Crookes.

As part of her prize, Celeste will also be among the performers at next year’s ceremony, with the 25-year-old saying: “Like many others, I grew up watching the Brits and have been continually inspired by its nominees, winners and the performances.

“I hope to make the most of this incredible opportunity and I can’t wait to perform on the BRITS next year.”

Celeste poses with her Brit Award
Celeste poses with her Brit Award
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Celeste is the 13th star to receive the Rising Star prize, joining a list which includes some of the biggest names in music.

Inspired by her win, here’s what her predecessors have done since earning the coveted music title...

Adele (2008)

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In numbers: Three albums, two UK number one singles, nine Brit Awards, 15 Grammys

Biggest achievement: Where do we even start? Adele has broken more records than we can count during her career, but we’d say 21 being the fourth biggest-selling album of all time in the UK is a pretty impressive feat.

Did the Brits get it right?: Oh, yes.

Florence And The Machine (2009)

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In numbers: Four albums, two UK number one singles, two Brit Awards, zero Grammys

Biggest achievement: Headlining Glastonbury in 2015. Her slot was boosted to top billing when Foo Fighters were forced to pull out due to injury, and wound up being one of the year’s festival highlights.

Did the Brits get it right?: Definitely.

Ellie Goulding (2010)

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In numbers: Three albums, two UK number one singles, two Brit Awards, zero Grammys

Biggest achievement: Being chosen to perform at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding in 2011.

Did the Brits get it right?: We know she’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but Ellie has undeniably had huge success since winning her first Brit.

Jessie J (2011)

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In numbers: Five albums, three UK number one singles, one Brit Award, zero Grammys

Biggest achievement: Hitting the top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic (with a bit of help from Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj) with Bang Bang.

Did the Brits get it right?: She’s certainly enjoyed commercial success since her Critics’ Choice win, so yes.

Emeli Sandé (2012)

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In numbers: Three albums, two UK number one singles, four Brit Awards, zero Grammys

Biggest achievement: Performing during both the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics.

Did the Brits get it right?: Yep.

Tom Odell (2013)

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14: Tom Odell performs for Help Refugees at their annual Christmas party at The Jazz Cafe on December 14, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14: Tom Odell performs for Help Refugees at their annual Christmas party at The Jazz Cafe on December 14, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
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In numbers: Three albums, zero UK number one singles, one Brit Award, zero Grammys

Biggest achievement: Landing the coveted John Lewis ad spot in 2014, covering John Lennon’s Real Love.

Did the Brits get it right?: The first male winner, Tom is also the first on this list who’s never really shaken off the Critics’ Choice (or “Rising Star” as it’s now known) label. So, we don’t necessarily want to say “no”, but also...

Sam Smith (2014)

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In numbers: Two albums, seven UK number one singles, three Brit Awards, four Grammys

Biggest achievement: Definitely winning an Oscar, even if their speech was followed by an unfortunate faux pas.

Did the Brits get it right?: There’s no arguing with success like Sam’s, and after showing off a whole new musical direction in 2019, it seems that even after five years in the industry, they’re really only just getting started.

James Bay (2015)

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In numbers: Two albums, zero UK number one singles, two Brit Awards, zero Grammys

Biggest achievement: Scooping three Grammy nominations following the release of his debut album, including for Best New Artist.

Did the Brits get it right?: Album number two Electric Light didn’t quite live up to the hype of his debut, but we think James still has a long career ahead of him yet, so we’d say he was definitely a strong pick.

Jack Garratt (2016)

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In numbers: One album, zero UK number one singles, one Brit Award, zero Grammys

Biggest achievement: Getting critical acclaim for his debut album, Phase

Did the Brits get it right?: Since his Critics’ Choice win, Jack seems to have taken a move behind the scenes, co-writing a track on Katy Perry’s latest album. We don’t want to say he was the wrong pick, but we reckon there may have been bigger artists on the come-up in 2016.

Rag’n’Bone Man (2017)

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In numbers: One album, zero UK number one singles, three Brit Awards, zero Grammys

Biggest achievement: Performing at the Brit Awards two years in a row, first with Jorja Smith and the following year with Calvin Harris.

Did the Brits get it right?: He’s still in the early stages of his career, but Rag’N’Bone Man has already received critical acclaim for his first album, racked up multiple awards nominations (and a handful of wins!) and collaborated with some of the biggest names in music. We’d say he was going nowhere for the time being.

Jorja Smith (2018)

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In numbers: One album, zero UK number one singles, two Brit Awards, zero Grammys

Biggest achievement: Receiving a Best New Artist nod at the 2019 Grammys.

Did the Brits get it right?: The best is definitely still to come from this British talent.

Sam Fender (2019)

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In numbers: One album, zero UK number one singles, one Brit Award, zero Grammys

Biggest achievement: Topping the albums chart with his debut effort, Hypersonic Missiles.

Did the Brits get it right?: True, a little-known singer Lewis Capaldi (who went on to top the UK singles chart for seven consecutive weeks in 2019) did have to settle for runner-up position for Sam to win, but the north east-born star definitely has the potential to be a huge UK export, as his recent international success has shown.

14 Surprising Brit Awards Winners