Holly Humberstone is the winner of the Brit Awards’ rising star award supported by BBC Radio 1. The alt pop artist was also tapped this week as an opening act on the North American leg of Olivia Rodrigo’s upcoming debut concert outing The Sour Tour.
Humberstone, who will turn 22 on Dec. 17, is the first performer to be confirmed for the Brit Awards, which are set for Tuesday, Feb. 8, at the O2 arena in London.
The news of her award was revealed Thursday (Dec. 9) by Clara Amfo on her BBC Radio 1 Future Sounds show. The other nominees were Bree Runway and Lola Young.
In a statement, Humberstone said: “I remember watching the Brits with my parents each year and being totally awestruck by the artists coming together in what felt like another universe. Now to be named the Brits’ rising star and nominated alongside two other incredible women, with the songs that started within those four walls at home is so mad. It just doesn’t feel real. This year has been a wild ride and a year of firsts, and I am so grateful and thankful for everyone who has helped make this happen!”
Humberstone has garnered more than 200 million global streams to date, according to a statement released by the Brits. Over the past year, the Polydor artist has been nominated for the Ivor Novello rising star award with Apple Music, was runner-up in the BBC Sound of 2021, was chosen as YouTube’s artist on the rise and Deezer’s focus artist, and performed on such TV shows as The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Late Late Show With James Corden and Later… With Jools Holland.
Humberstone’s debut EP Falling Asleep at the Wheel was released in August 2020. Her second EP The Walls Are Way Too Thin, released last month, has climbed as high as No. 64 on the Official U.K. Album Chart.
Past rising star or critics’ choice winners (as the award was formerly known) include Adele and Sam Smith, who both also won the Grammy for best new artist. Three other past rising star winners — Florence + the Machine, James Bay and Jorja Smith — were Grammy-nominated for best new artist.
The Brits rising star award 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.
Mo Gilligan is set to host the Brit Awards 2022 with Mastercard, which will be broadcast on ITV and ITV Hub. Nominations will be revealed in “The Brits Are Coming” broadcast on those same channels on Dec. 18.
Here’s a complete list of past Brits’ critics’ choice/rising star winners:
2009: Florence + The Machine
2010: Ellie Goulding
2011: Jessie J
2012: Emeli Sandé
2013: Tom Odell
2014: Sam Smith
2015: James Bay
2016: Jack Garratt
2017: Rag ’n’ Bone Man
2018: Jorja Smith
2019: Sam Fender