The Polydor-signed artist, from Brighton, was shortlisted alongside Beabadoobee and Joy Crookes and will perform at the ceremony on February 18 at London’s O2 Arena.
The Rising Star award is new for 2020, replacing the Critics’ Choice as part of Universal Music Group chairman and CEO David Jospeh’s BRITs revamp, which was exclusively revealed by Music Week last month. Her win represents a second consecutive year a Polydor act has come out on top, following Sam Fender in 2019.
Celeste has 706,751 monthly listeners on Spotify and recently sold out three nights at London’s Omeara, a date at O2 Shepherds Bush Empire in April 2020 is sold out. The singer is signed to Warner Chappell for publishing.
Profiled by Music Week in June, Celeste said: “It’s not a conscious decision to create classic sounding music, my voice just thinks for itself in that context and I definitely want to sound like myself and nobody else.”
We caught up with the singer again as news of her victory broke.
Once you know you’re in with a chance of winning something like this you do really want to
“I wasn’t expecting to be on the list,” she said. “I know it sounds silly because I’m sure everyone around me was like, ‘We definitely want that to happen’. It was spoken about early on in the year that it would be a really good thing to go for and try and get and then I didn’t really hear about it.”
Celeste, who is managed by Duncan Ellis and Ben Smallwood at Atlas Artists, found out she’d made the shortlist before a gig in Montpellier, and has been touring with Michael Kiwanuka around Europe since she heard.
“Ben, one of my managers, got off the phone, ran into the dressing room and said, ‘You’re in the BRITs Top 3 for Rising Star!’” Celeste said. “I went on stage like, ‘OK, this is cool.’ That was genuinely surprise news for me. Once you know you’re in with a chance of winning something like that you do really want to.”
“Beabadoobee and Joy Crookes are lovely, it was amazing to be there with three women too, which doesn’t feel that common sometimes, so I was really pleased about that,” she continued. “It was an honour to be nominated in the first place.”
Celeste heard she’d won in the hours before the announcement.
“I’m pretty buzzing really! When I was told I was like, ‘Are you sure?’” said the singer. “The first thing I did was tell my nan and granddad and my mum and they were really pleased. The thing I’m looking forward to the most is going and performing my song on the BRITs. From a young age, watching on the television, I had a feeling of wanting to be there and be a part of it.”
Now, Celeste will get her wish.
“I’m, going to be there,” she said. “The five minutes before I to sing my song are going to be quite mad. I’m excited!”
Polydor are the holders of the Record Company Of The Year title at the Music Week Awards, and nomniations are now open for 2020.