Soul singer Celeste has been named the BBC’s Sound of 2020, topping the annual poll of acts likely to achieve huge success in the year ahead.
The 25-year-old, who featured in the NME 100 last week, said of her victory: “I could never have predicted half of the things that happened … I’m so grateful for every opportunity I’ve had so far and am looking forward to what 2020 will bring.”
The singer, whose full name is Celeste Waite, was born in Los Angeles but grew up in Saltdean near Brighton.
Hailing her “phenomenal” talent, Radio 1’s Annie Mac said: “Her songwriting is personal and poignant but with universal appeal. I think she could easily join the long list of Sound Of winners who went on to be global stars.”
Celeste began writing songs as a teenager and was discovered by a manager at the age of 16, who encouraged her to start working with writers and producers such as Trevor Horn.
She was later signed to Lily Allen’s Bank Holiday Records and released her debut EP ‘Milk & Honey’ in 2017, before signing to Polydor a year later.
Celeste also finished off 2019 by being named the Brits Rising Star – ahead of a performance at the ceremony next month.
Reviewing her show at London’s Omeara last November, NME claimed that she is “primed for superstardom”.