A former Stamford High School pupil is up for a top award previously won by stars such as Adele and Florence + The Machine.
Soul singer Izzy Bizu is one of three new artists nominated to win the Critics’ Choice Award in the 2016 Brits. The winner is announced on Friday (November 27).
Izzy was a pupil at Stamford High School before studying vocals at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute, or Bimm, in London, from which she graduated with a diploma in 2012.
Since being spotted at an open mic night two years ago she has supported top names such as Sam Smith, Rudimental and Foxes; performed at Glastonbury twice; and made her debut on Later with Jools Holland earlier this year.
And her rise is continuing with the announcement this week of her Brit Award nomination.
Izzy said: “I’m so honoured to be nominated for the Brits Critics’ Choice Award this year, following in the footsteps of amazingly talented artists like Adele, Emeli Sande and James Bay, so thank you!
“I grew up watching the Brits on the TV at home so it’s pretty exciting to be a part of it.”
The next Brit Awards take place in February 2016, but the Critics’ Choice Award winner will be announced on Friday.
Nominees in the category, along with the ultimate winner, are chosen by an expert panel including heads of music from radio and TV, editors from national newspapers and music magazines.
Also up for the 2016 award is multi-instrumentalist Jack Garratt and pianist-singer Frances. They and Izzy were chosen from a list of more than 100 finalists.
Singer-songwriter James Bay won the 2015 award and has gone on to major success this year. His album Chaos and the Calm is the year’s biggest-selling debut and his performance at Glastonbury drew a huge crowd.
But it’s not just the winners who go on to do well. The band Years and Years was runner-up this year and has also had a successful year.
Izzy’s debut album will be released early in 2016. Her latest single, White Tiger, is out now.