- READ MORE: Sam Fender talks mental health, tackling ‘toxic masculinity’ and his new single ‘Dead Boys’
The ‘Dead Boys’ singer, who fended off competition from Lewis Capaldi and Mahalia, said: “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.
He added: “‘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!”
In an interview with Sky News, Fender explained how he was travelling in a taxi in his native Newcastle when he discovered that he’d won.
“We were in a taxi driving back to my manager’s house [when I found out]. I was driving past my old school, which was very strange, and the label rang, and he put them on loudspeaker and then he was just like, you’ve got it mate, you’ve got it. I just started screaming. I was punching all the seats in the taxi going completely mad,” explained Fender.
“Then I went back to my manager’s house and got absolutely smashed.”
Brits chairman and CEO of Sony Music UK & Ireland Jason Iley said: “Many congratulations to Sam Fender on winning The BRITs Critics’ Choice Award. He is an exceptional young artist, with a bright future ahead of him.
“This award has shone a spotlight on some of the most successful new acts for more than a decade, who between them have sold more than 90 million records, from Adele to Sam Smith, Florence + The Machine to Rag’n’Bone Man. I wish Sam the very best and that he enjoys the same success as many of the previous winners have before him.”