Griff wins BRITs Rising Star Award

The 20-year-old artist will now appear at The BRITs ceremony, which takes place at London’s O2 Arena on Tuesday, 11 May.

Maya Radcliffe
  • By Maya Radcliffe
  • 19 Mar 2021
  • min read

The BRIT Awards 2021 with Mastercard have today announced that Griff is the winner of the prestigious BRITs Rising Star award, supported by BBC Radio 1.

Griff said: ‘In my head I'm still screaming from the phone call when I found out. It's honestly such a miracle: how on earth did we manage to win a BRIT and break through during a pandemic?’

A truly multi-faceted talent, 20-year-old Griff grew up in Kings Langley in Hertfordshire, as the daughter of a Chinese mother and a Jamaican father. In 2019 she signed to Warner Records, picked up her first Radio 1 play from Annie Mac (whilst still doing her A-Levels), and last summer she was nominated for the first ever Rising Star Ivor Novello Award. Songs like new single Black Hole see Griff head down that rabbit hole of modern teenage life, exploring big themes (young love, mental health, family and friendship) in Griff’s own distinct style. And already, Griff's is the type of creative curiosity that draws no boundaries between making beats, designing your own clothes, or taking over Tate Modern as she did for just her second London show.

Pa Salieu and Rina Sawayama were also shortlisted for the prize, which last year evolved from its original name of BRITs Critics’ Choice. Since its inception in 2008, this award has successfully predicted the future stars of British music including Adele, Florence + The Machine, Sam Smith, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man and last year’s winner Celeste - whose debut album Not Your Muse went to No. 1 in the UK Album Charts upon release earlier this year. The total global album sales for all previous winners combined sits at over 135 million.

Past BRITs Critics’ Choice / Rising Star winners:

  • 2008 Adele
  • 2009 Florence + The Machine
  • 2010 Ellie Goulding
  • 2011 Jessie J
  • 2012 Emeli Sandé
  • 2013 Tom Odell
  • 2014 Sam Smith
  • 2015 James Bay
  • 2016 Jack Garratt
  • 2017 Rag ’n’ Bone Man
  • 2018 Jorja Smith
  • 2019 Sam Fender
  • 2020 Celeste
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