The buzzy British R&B group FLO were named the winners of the Brit Awards’ Rising Star award on Thursday (Dec. 8). They are the first girl group to win in the category and the first group of any type to win since Florence + the Machine in 2009. Other previous winners of the award (formerly called Critics’ Choice) include Adele, Ellie Goulding, Sam Smith and Celeste.
The news was revealed by Clara Amfo on her BBC Radio 1 Future Sounds show.
“From growing up watching the BRITs, to finding each other and forming FLO, releasing our first body of work in 2022 and winning a BRIT award in the same year!!,” the members of FLO exulted in a statement. “We are so shocked and grateful. We are the first group to win the BRITs Rising Star! We’ve just made history and couldn’t have done it without our wonderful fans and supportive families. It’s truly a dream come true. We feel so empowered creating the music we love and we hope others feel that too.”
The group – Renée, Jorja and Stella – released their debut single “Cardboard Box” just seven months ago. They have also released a debut EP, The Lead. George Griffiths of The Official U.K. Charts site says “they have quickly become the de facto heirs to the British girlband crown left vacant by Little Mix.”
FLO have was also nominated for best newcomer at the MOBO Awards (but lost to BRU-C). FLO have performed “Cardboard Box” on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and the U.K.’s Later…With Jools Holland.
The song ranked No. 85 on Billboard’s just-published 100 Best Songs of 2022: Staff List. Writing about the song, Glenn Rowley observed, “From the opening notes of their debut single, British trio FLO makes it clear they’re channeling the spirit — and chill-inducing harmonies — of late ‘90s/early ‘00s R&B. Taking inspiration in equal measures from the likes of 702, Blaque and Destiny’s Child, ‘Cardboard Box’ is something of a little sister to Beyoncé’s classic 2006 kiss-off ‘Irreplaceable.’ By the time the threesome finish kicking a cheating beau to the curb, they’ve proved they might just have the charisma and vocal chops to be crowned those girl groups’ latest heir apparents.”
Cat Burns and Nia Archives were also shortlisted for the Brits’ Rising Star award. The shortlist is selected by an invited panel of music editors and critics from the national press, online music editors, heads of music at major radio and music TV stations plus songwriters, producers and live bookers – those working with new rising talent on a regular basis.
The BRIT Awards 2023 with Mastercard – as the show is formally known – will take place on Saturday Feb. 11, 2023, at The O2 arena in London. This marks the first time the show will be held on a Saturday. It will be broadcast live on ITV and ITVX.
Here’s a full list of BRIT Awards’ Critics’ Choice/Rising Star winners (with other nominees shown in parentheses):
2008: Adele (Duffy, Foals)
2009: Florence + The Machine (Little Boots, White Lies)
2010: Ellie Goulding (Delphic, Marina and the Diamonds)
2011: Jessie J (James Blake, The Vaccines)
2012: Emeli Sandé (Michael Kiwanuka, Maverick Sabre)
2013: Tom Odell (AlunaGeorge, Laura Mvula)
2014: Sam Smith (Ella Eyre, Chlöe Howl)
2015: James Bay (George The Poet, Years & Years)
2016: Jack Garratt (Izzy Bizu, Frances)
2017: Rag ’n’ Bone Man (Anne Marie, Dua Lipa)
2018: Jorja Smith (Stefflon Don, Mabel)
2019: Sam Fender (Lewis Capaldi, Mahalia)
2020: Celeste (Beabadoobee, Joy Crookes)
2021: Griff (Pa Salieu, Rina Sawayama)
2022: Holly Humberstone (Bree Runway, Lola Young)
2023: FLO (Cat Burns, Nia Archives)