BBC Sound of 2014 countdown begins

George Ezra George Ezra performed on Glastonbury's BBC Introducing stage in 2013

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Singer-songwriter George Ezra has come fifth in the BBC's Sound of 2014 list, kicking off a week-long countdown to the winner.

The Bristol-based artist, whose tracks include Budapest, has been described as making "grizzly folk-pop".

The list was compiled by 170 DJs, critics and bloggers, who were asked to name their three favourite new acts.

The top 15 were revealed in December, with the Sound of 2014 winner announced this Friday, 10 January.

BBC Radio 1's Nick Grimshaw will reveal the top five artists on his breakfast show throughout the rest of this week.

Listen to the 15 acts on this year's longlist

The list - which aims to highlight the best and brightest rising music stars for the year ahead - has been compiled annually by BBC News since 2003.

Last year's winners, LA pop band Haim, went on to top the album chart in October with their debut Days Are Gone.

Sound of 2014 logo

"It's a really big honour and I'm kind of sad that someone is taking our crown," said Alana Haim.

"But it's an awesome list this year. I'm really excited to see who wins."

Previous winners also include Adele, Ellie Goulding and Jessie J.

Ezra, who is 20, performed to a packed crowd on the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury last summer.

He was initially spotted by BBC Bristol, which has championed his bluesy, acoustic ballads since February 2012.

Bristol's Introducing presenter Richard Pitt described him as "a young man with the voice of a 50-year-old".

Speaking about his inclusion in the Sound of 2014's top five, Ezra said: "It was strange to hear I was on it. It was amazing. Everything has happened so fast in the last year or so it all just creeps up on you but I appreciate [the Sound of nomination] massively."

The nominated acts can be performers from any country and any musical genre.

They must not have been the lead artist on a UK top 20 single or album before 4 November 2013.

However, featured guest vocalists are eligible and two long-listed artists, Sam Smith and Ella Eyre, have already enjoyed number one singles - providing vocals for Naughty Boy and Rudimental, respectively.

One act from the Sound Of 2014 top five will be announced every morning on BBC Radio 1, the BBC News website, and the official Sound of 2014 website.

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