Rising stars Lewis Capaldi, Mahalia and Sam Fender are on the shortlist for the Critics’ Choice prize at next year’s Brit Awards.
The artists will find out in December if they have won the gong, which has previously been awarded to singers including Adele, Emeli Sande and Sam Smith.
Scottish singer-songwriter Capaldi made a splash with his debut track Bruises in 2017.
To date, he has sold 50,000 headline show tickets, been added to the Radio 1 Brit List and has amassed nearly 250 million plays for his tracks across streaming services.
“Genuinely cannot believe I’m being included in something like this and do not think I’ve done enough to be deserving of it!” he said.
“That being said, from here on in I will insist that those around me, including my mother and father, refer to me only as Brits Critics Choice Award Nominee, Lewis Capaldi.”
R&B singer Mahalia’s breakthrough track, Sober, achieved over 20 million streams worldwide and 8.5 million YouTube views and she has toured with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Emeli Sande and last year’s Critics’ Choice winner Jorja Smith.
She said making the shortlist was “the cherry on top” after an amazing year.
Fender, who writes about subjects of social and generational significance, has been on the road touring and recently released his debut EP, Dead Boys.
“I’ve been watching the Brits since I was a child, and my brother would let me stay up and watch them live; so to be nominated for the Critics’ Choice award is crazy,” he said. “What an honour!”
The award is chosen by a panel of music editors and critics of national press and online music editors, plus heads of music at major radio and music TV stations.
The winner, who will be announced on December 7, will be the first recipient of the new award designed by Sir David Adjaye.
The Brits, to be broadcast live on ITV, take place on February 20.