Celeste wins BBC Music’s Sound of 2020

Celeste has been crowned the winner of BBC Music’s Sound Of 2020.

Published: 9 January 2020
Celeste is a phenomenal talent - a voice that does not come around often and, when you are exposed to it, is impossible to ignore.
— Annie Mac

The British-Jamaican singer was chosen by a panel of 170 influential music experts, including alumni artists Billie Eilish and Lewis Capaldi as well as DJs, radio and TV producers, journalists, streaming experts and festival bookers.

Celeste started her journey with BBC Music in 2014 when she uploaded her track North Circular to the BBC Music Introducing website. She was recently named as BBC Music Introducing Artist of the Year 2019 after performing on Introducing stages at Glastonbury and SXSW festivals in 2019, and she’s set for an even bigger 2020 as she embarks on a headline tour across the UK.

Celeste says: "2019 was an incredible year for me and I could never have predicted half of the things that happened. Some of my favourite memories have been the live shows. From performing Strange for the very first time at the Lexington for BBC Introducing, going live with Annie Mac from Maida Vale, to Jools Holland. I’m so grateful for every opportunity I’ve had so far and am looking forward to what 2020 will bring.”

BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac says: “Celeste is a phenomenal talent - a voice that does not come around often and, when you are exposed to it, is impossible to ignore. I have received countless emotional texts from listeners who have had to sit in their car and lose themselves to her song Strange before carrying on with their evening. Her songwriting is personal and poignant but with universal appeal. I think she could easily join the longlist of Sound Of winners who went on to be global stars. I can’t wait to hear more from Celeste and all of our longlist in 2020.”

The top five artists for Sound of 2020 are:

1. Celeste
2. Easy Life
3. Yungblud
4. Joy Crookes
5. Inhaler

Also on the longlist for Sound of 2020 (in alphabetical order):

  • Arlo Parks
  • Beabadoobee
  • Georgia
  • Inhaler
  • Squid

Profiles of all ten artists are available on the BBC Music Sound Of 2020 website, along with details of the panel and how the list was compiled.

On 5 February, Annie Mac will host Sound of 2020 Live on BBC Radio 1 from 8-11pm, welcoming a selection of the longlisted artists to the BBC’s legendary Maida Vale studios to perform live for an exclusive studio audience.

Sound of… started in 2003. Last year Octavian became the first UK rapper to claim the top spot ahead of a strong longlist featuring the likes of Mahalia, King Princess and slowthai.


Previous winners

2019 - Octavian
2018 - Sigrid
2017 - Ray BLK
2016 - Jack Garratt
2015 - Years & Years
2014 - Sam Smith
2013 - HAIM
2012 - Michael Kiwanuka
2011 - Jessie J
2010 - Ellie Goulding
2009 - Little Boots
2008 - Adele
2007 - Mika
2006 - Corinne Bailey Rae
2005 - The Bravery
2004 - Keane
2003 - 50 Cent

Other Sound Of… alumni include Stormzy, Florence + The Machine, Lady Gaga, Foals, Dizzee Rascal, Dua Lipa and Lewis Capaldi.