Sam Fender has been announced as the winner of the 2019 BRITs Critics’ Choice Award, marking the first recipient of the newly-designed award by Sir David Adjaye OBE.

The award arrives at an important moment in Sam’s musical career, one that has seen a very rapid ascent over the past few months. Having toured the UK and Europe relentlessly, building himself a loyal army of fans, this young Newcastle based musician writes honestly and candidly about subjects of social and generational significance, drawn from his experiences growing up in the North East. Sam wraps his pertinent words in rousing, propulsive, arena-sized anthems. The recently released debut EP ‘Dead Boys’ is a mighty statement of intent, recorded in his warehouse studio just a stone’s throw from the River Tyne.

Of the win, Fender says: “I am truly humbled to win The BRITs Critics’ Choice Award. Being nominated was crazy enough, never mind winning it. I’m so grateful to everyone back home for believing, and to my band and team for all their hard work. We’ve played literally hundreds of shows this year, and we’re going to go even harder in 2019. Most importantly, a big shout to my fans. I’ve met a lot of you over the last few years and it’s truly an honour to get up and play night after night to such a wonderful bunch of people. To everyone who’s taken a punt on me so far, thank you. Here’s to next year!”

Lewis Capaldi and Mahalia are this year’s runners-up to overall winner Sam Fender. Since its inception in 2008, The BRITs Critics’ Choice Award has successfully identified the future stars of British music, with previous winners including Adele, Florence + The Machine, Emeli Sandé, Sam Smith, Rag‘n’Bone Man, and last year’s winner Jorja Smith, who have all gone on to achieve phenomenal chart success both in the UK and globally. Collectively, The BRITs Critics’ Choice winners have sold over 90 million albums worldwide.

The 2019 nominations will be revealed in January, and The BRIT Awards 2019 with Mastercard will be broadcast live on ITV on Wednesday 20 February from The O2 Arena, London.

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