Sam Smith wins Brits Critics' Choice Award
Award will be presented at O2 Arena ceremony on February 19 2014
Known for his appearance on Disclosure's hit 'Latch' and Naughty Boy's 'La La La', Smith follows in the footsteps of previous Critics' Choice winners Adele, Florence And The Machine, Ellie Goulding, Jessie J, Emeli Sandé and Tom Odell.
On his win, Smith said: "I'm completely overwhelmed! To see my name alongside the list of former winners, artists I admire so much, it is incredible. What an amazing Christmas present. Thank you!"
Although the winner is announced today (December 12), the award itself will be presented at next year's Brit Awards ceremony, which will be held on February 19 at London's O2 Arena.
This award is chosen by a panel of experts, including national newspaper music editors, music websites, music and lifestyle magazines, plus the heads of music at major radio and music TV stations. All three artists on the shortlist also appear on the list of artists in contention to be named BBC Sound Of 2014, the longlist for which was revealed earlier this week.
Arctic Monkeys and Katy Perry are to perform at next year's Brit Awards ceremony, which will again be broadcast on ITV. Last year's audience of 7.1 million viewers was the ceremony's biggest in a decade.
Hosting duties will fall to the returning James Corden – although this will be his final year. The actor and comedian says: "I really love the Brits. I'm such a fan. I'll miss not doing it after this one, but fully intend to enjoy every second of Brits 2014."
Philip Treacy, the Irish-born, London-based hat maker and designer, has designed this year's Brit Award statue, pictured above right. Among his many achievements, Treacy created hats for the Harry Potter movies and the much commented-on headgear Princess Beatrice wore at the Royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.
Sam Smith releases his debut single 'Money On My Mind' in February, and his debut album is expected in Spring.