We are proud to announce Sam Smith as this year’s winner of the Critics’ Choice Award, with Ella Eyre and Chlöe Howl as runners up.

Following in the footsteps of Adele, Florence + the Machine, Emeli Sandé and last year’s winner Tom Odell, the 21-year old singer/songwriter will be presented with his Award at ‘The BRITs Are Coming’ nominations show, which will be broadcast on ITV at 10.35pm on Thursday, January 9.

Sam’s already had an incredible 2013, after coming to the public’s attention as the vocalist on Disclosure’s breakout anthem Latch, before working with Naughty Boy on the global No. 1 smash hit La, La, La. His debut Nirvana EP has already won him fans and built buzz for his album, which is expected in the Spring.

He said on winning the award: "It means the world to me, it's the only award I really care about. I've watched the BRITs religiously every single year.

"I'm such a massive fan of female singers and some of the females who have won this award have been my biggest inspirations, so to even be nominated means a lot to me, a lot."

To celebrate the ongoing successes of the Critics’ Choice Award, which has seen past winners sell in excess of 13-million albums worldwide, Universal Music will be releasing a Critics’ Choice compilation on January 6. This will feature all the artists who’ve been shortlisted since launching in 2008, with extra live tracks and remixes available exclusively on iTunes.