Pop singer and songwriter Jessie J tops BBC's Sound of 2011
Essex-born Jessie J has come top of the BBC's talent list Sound of 2011, which showcases the best rising stars in music for the coming year.
The BBC's Sound of… list is run by BBC News Online and is compiled using recommendations from more than 160 influential UK taste-makers, who named their favourite new acts.
Born Jessica Cornish, Jessie J's sound is a mix of attitude-filled urban pop and big soulful ballads. Her debut single Do It Like A Dude burst onto the scene in November, making it into the UK Top 30. She had previously found success as a songwriter, co-writing the Miley Cyrus hit Party In The USA.
Jessie J says she is "overwhelmed" to be at the top of the Sound of 2011 list: "It feels amazing to be accepted on such a broad scale.
"I know I'm doing something right and I've got to keep doing it. It's an honour."
The artist, who has also won the Critics Choice award at the BRIT Awards 2011 in December, also says: "The expectation of me at the moment is so high, but I thrive on knowing people have that expectation... It's a challenge."
Austin Daboh, Music Manager at BBC Radio 1Xtra – the first station to play Jessie's music, says: "From the minute I saw a homemade video of Jessie singing her head off, I knew she was a talent.
"I think she combines a unique charisma with great songwriting and to top it off she has an incredible voice. After hearing an album sampler and seeing her live, I then saw the reaction to her debut single Do It Like A Dude – it's the same reaction I saw when Tinie Tempah unleashed Pass Out."
Lana Webb, Head of Music at Remedy Productions, says: "Jessie J has already proven her songwriting credentials. With her powerful voice, commanding stage presence and razor-sharp style, Jessie J will cut across the musical landscape, seizing the spotlight for herself in 2011."
Jessie J began her career on stage with a role in a West End production. After studying musical theatre at the BRIT School, she secured her first record deal with Gut Records and grabbed the attention of R&B circles in the United States.
A longlist of the Top 15 artists for the BBC Sound of 2011 was published in December 2010 and the Top five has been revealed this week.
Cutting-edge producer-vocalists James Blake and Jamie Woon are respectively at No. 2 and at No. 4, with rock band The Vaccines at No. 3 and Birmingham chanteuse Clare Maguire at No. 5.
The BBC Sound of… series has picked out music stars in the making for the last nine years. Last year Ellie Goulding came top followed by Marina And The Diamonds. Previous winners in the nine-year history include Little Boots, Adele, Mika and 50 Cent.
Performances and profiles of the 15 artists from the longlist are available on the BBC Sound of... website. An archive feature also looks back at the previous eight years of the Sound of... lists.
On the BBC Red Button a programme will count down the Top five BBC Sound of 2011 on Friday 7 January from around 7.20am. Performances and interviews from each of the Top five will be available until 13 January.
Notes to Editors
Any use of information in this release must credit "BBC's Sound of 2011"
Twitter hashtag: #so2011
The BBC's Sound of... list is now in its ninth year.
The full Top five:
1. Jessie J
Also on the longlist (unranked)
Last year, Ellie Goulding was joined in the Sound of 2010 Top five by Marina And The Diamonds, Delphic, Hurts and The Drums.
The previous winners are: Little Boots (Sound of 2009), Adele (Sound of 2008), Mika (Sound of 2007), Corinne Bailey Rae (Sound of 2006), The Bravery (Sound of 2005), Keane (Sound of 2004) and 50 Cent (Sound of 2003).
Other artists in the Top five in previous years include Florence And The Machine and La Roux (Sound of 2009), Duffy and the Ting Tings (Sound of 2008), Klaxons (Sound of 2007), Bloc Party (Sound of 2005), Franz Ferdinand (Sound of 2004) and Dizzee Rascal (Sound of 2003).
The list was compiled using recommendations from more than 160 influential UK taste-makers, who were asked to name their favourite new acts.
The taste-makers included top music critics, DJs, magazine editors, broadcasters and influential bloggers, who tipped their favourite new acts for the coming year. They were each asked to name three new acts in order of preference, from any country and musical genre. Acts must not have had a UK Top 20 single or album by 14 November 2010 and must not already be famous, for example by featuring in the final stages of a TV talent show or already enjoying success as a member of an existing band.