BBC Sound of 2017 countdown kicks off with Nadia Rose in fifth place
South London rap prodigy Nadia Rose has taken fifth place on the BBC Music Sound of 2017 list.
The 23-year-old, who has won praise for her whip-cracking, witty wordplay, hails from Croydon and is the cousin of grime artist Stormzy.
The annual award aims to showcase the best new artists of the coming year, and is voted for by 170 DJs, music critics, radio producers and writers.
"That is epic!" said Rose on learning she had made the top five.
"Being on the longlist was an honour. This is just... wow. I really wasn't expecting that."
She describes her sound as "really bassy, full of fun and full of energy".
The Sound of... list launched in 2003 and has a track record in championing new and innovative acts, including Adele, Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, Frank Ocean and Florence + The Machine.
This year's top five will be revealed on BBC Radio 1 and online throughout the week, with the winner announced on Friday.
|Sound of 2017 longlist|
|AJ Tracey||West London wordsmith|
|Anderson .Paak||Dr Dre-endorsed rap prodigy|
|Dave||Plaintive rapper with classical training|
|Declan McKenna||Polemic singer-songwriter|
|Jorja Smith||Heart-rending soul singer|
|Maggie Rogers||Graceful songwriter who stunned Pharrell|
|Nadia Rose||Witty wordplay and colourful beats|
|Rag N Bone Man||Gravel-voiced soul revelation|
|Ray BLK||Street smart R&B|
|Raye||Electro beats with soaring pop melodies|
|Stefflon Don||Wicked, dancehall-inspired wordplay|
|The Amazons||Raucous rock revivalists|
|The Japanese House||Enigmatic pop maven|
|Tom Grennan||Gruff, soulful singer-songwriter|
- Find out more and watch videos on the Sound of 2017 site
Last year's victor was Jack Garratt, who praised the "very diverse" range of acts on the 2017 list, and encouraged fans to embrace new talent.
"There's more music out there than just your favourite act," he said. "It all deserves respect and it all deserves love.
"Even though there are 15 names on the longlist, there are hundreds more that definitely could have been. I think 2017 is going to be a very interesting year."
According to the rules, acts on the longlist should not be well known - so talent show contestants and members of famous bands launching a solo career are excluded.
Artists must not have had a UK top 20 single or album before 30 October 2016 - although guest vocalists remain eligible.