To celebrate the release of BRITs Critics' Choice: The Album on January 6, we're looking back at all the past winners of the Critics' Choice Award and how their careers have progressed – this is the story of how Emeli Sandé won Critics’ Choice and became 2012’s most successful artist.

Talented friends
Long before Emeli had released any solo material, she’d been writing for a number of high profile artists like Cheryl Cole alongside Naughty Boy and featured on tracks first with Chipmunk, then Wiley before she scored her first UK No. 1 with Professor Green thanks to Read All About It.

First award of many
She became the fifth recipient of the Critics’ Choice and collected her Award at the BRITs Nominations Launch 2012 where she also gave this awesome performance of Next to Me.

Golden girl
On the biggest stage Britain could have offered, Emeli performed at both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics, which included this spellbinding version of Read All About It (Pt. III).

Worldwide phenomenon
Her debut album Our Version of Events sold by the truckload around the world and was certified six times platinum by the BPI. It was the biggest selling record of 2012 in the UK, and only One Direction’s Midnight Memories sold more last year. 

Date at the White House
Clearly still thinking she hadn’t achieved enough in such a short space of time, she sang Natural Woman for Carole King at the White House in front of President Barack Obama.

You can pre-order 'Critics' Choice: The Album' now exclusively from iTunes.