The shortlist for the Brits’ 2014 Critics Choice Award was today announced, revealing Sam Smith, Ella Eyre and Chlöe Howl as the three nominees – all of whom made it onto the BBC Sound of 2014 longlist just this week.

The coveted award launched in 2008 and aims to ‘identify future British recording talent before it happens’. Selected by a number of Britain’s top music editors, nominees must be signed to a label and set to release their debut albums in 2014. The awards ceremony, which will be presented by James Corden, is set to take place on 19 February 2014 at The O2 in London.

The list of past winners certainly verifies that future recipients of the award are more than likely to go on to have successful careers – it includes Adele (2008), Florence and the Machine (2009), Ellie Goulding, Jessie J (2011), Emeli Sandé (2012) and Tom Odell (2013). In fact, Sam and Ella have already achieved number one singles featuring on Rudimental’s ‘Waiting all Night’ (Ella) and Naughty Boy’s ‘La La La’ (Sam). The latter also achieved success featuring on Disclosure’s hit single ‘Latch’. Does that mean 18-year old Chlöe Howl doesn’t stand a chance? We’ll find out next Thursday when the winner will be announced.

So how do they feel about being nominated? Here’s what they had to say:

Chlöe Howl: “I’ve followed the paths of the BRITs Critics’ Choice artists since Adele won the first one when I was twelve. To be on the shortlist is incredible, and to be alongside two amazing artists is an honour. It’s so exciting!”

Sam Smith: “I have watched the BRITs religiously for many years growing up.  The people who have won before are to this day some of my favourite artists and biggest inspirations. So to even be up for this award is completely overwhelming for me. I can’t begin to tell you how thankful I am!”

Ella Eyre: “It’s overwhelming to be nominated for a BRIT Award, to think that two years ago I was at The BRIT Awards on a school trip, and to be considered now is crazy!”

The 2014 Brit Awards will take place on 19 February 2014 at The O2 in London.

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