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The BRIT Awards, roughly the equivalent of the GRAMMYs in the UK, have been the launching pad for plenty of artists who became huge in America, like Adele, whose performance at the BRIT Awards last year has garnered more than 94,000,000 YouTube views to date. To celebrate Fuse's coverage of the BRIT Awards, we're presenting the 15 hottest new British artists, all nominated for BRIT Awards, that you should get familiar with before they land on our shores. The BRIT Awards will be airing exclusively on Fuse at 8:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, February 21st.
- Dave Hogan
Sheeran is a very earnest 20-year-old singer/songwriter/beatboxer/guitarist with a massive YouTube following who’s breaking into the mainstream. Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter film series, stars in Sheeran’s new video for the song Lego House. They look really similar. You can catch Ed Sheeran on tour with Snow Patrol this spring.
- Getty Images
This 28-year-old rapper is from the working-class London neighborhood Hackney. After winning a £50,000 battle rap tournament, Professor Green was personally signed by Mike Skinner of The Streets' to his label in 2008. Green also went on tour with Lily Allen in 2009, and just released a new album.
- Mark Metcalfe
This quirky singer/songwriter from Eversley, Hampshire, who rose to prominence as a 16-year-old on MySpace. She’s now 22 and just released her fourth full-length album. Her songs are beautiful, and she was in a crazy love triangle with the lead singer of Noah and the Whale and Marcus Mumford from Mumford & Sons.
- Simone Joyner
Calvi is a ferocious London-based singer-songwriter and noted cover performer. Brian Eno called her “the best thing since Patti Smith.” That's it. That's the only reason to listen to her that you need.
- Dave Hogan
Sandé, a Scottish 25-year-old soul singer and professional songwriter, was born to a Zambian father and an English mother. You’ve probably already heard some of the irresistible songs she’s written – she writes for Susan Boyle, Leona Lewis, Cheryl Cole, and Tinie Tempah. Soon you’ll be hearing her too.
- Simone Joyner
This indie rock band, who formed in West London in 2010, was immediately signed by Columbia Records. They sound like The Strokes and The Ramones. The band describe their influences as “50s rock 'n' roll, '60s garage and girl groups, '70s punk, '80s American hardcore, C86 and good pop music," so if you’re into classic, meat and potatoes rock, this might be the band for you. Their lead single “If You Wanna,” is already classic rock.
- Larry Busacca
She’s a 23-year-old songwriter and pop star from London who started out as a songwriter for Miley Cyrus and Chris Brown. Of the Brit Awards nominees, it’s likely that Jessie J is the most palatable overall to American audiences. The fifth single off of her debut album, “Domino,” is already dominating on American radio.
- Dave Hogan
Chase & Status
These guys are slick-looking dubstep/drum ‘n bass music/DJ duo from London who have produced and remixed tracks for major American artists and make fast and loud rave-rock. They've also produced and written music for Rihanna, Cee-Lo and Tinie Tempah, and Pharrell called them “the most exciting producers in the UK today.”
- Ian Gavan
Un-Googleable Example is 29-year-old electro-hop/trance/grime/dubstep producer and rapper from London, who used to be a voiceover artist and worked in the props department of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. He started rapping after listening to Wu-Tang and Snoop Dogg, so if you’re into those artists, it’s worth checking out the sound of the English dude they inspired.
- Gareth Cattermole
They're probably the biggest English boy band that’s currently active, and the UK seems to have a major thing for boy bands, they formed because the band leader’s mother has multiple sclerosis and he was looking for ways to raise money to find a cure. JLS' BRIT Award-nominated single “She Makes Me Wanna,” which is their fifth UK No. 1 single, could launch them to global superstardom. Or maybe it’ll be their sixth No. 1 single, whenever that comes. They’re a hit machine.
- Dan Kitwood
Formed on a UK reality show called The Choir, Military Wives is a group of UK women whose husbands and boyfriends are military personnel deployed to Afghanistan. Their debut single, which is the only song they’ve released, went to No. 1 on the UK singles chart on Christmas, and it’s an unbelievably tender track.
- Simone Joyner
Murs is a 27-year-old singer/songwriter and TV presenter who rose to popularity on The X Factor and who writes legendarily sweet love songs. It’s a rare talent that can excel at writing hit songs and hosting TV shows, but Olly Murs has a handful of No. 1 singles and is hosting the show he was discovered on!
- Dave J Hogan
They're a teenage five-piece British-Irish boy band (which is in itself significant because Britain and Ireland haven’t always gotten along) that formed on the show The X Factor. The members all initially entered as individuals but didn’t qualify in their solo category, so guest host Nicole Scherzinger (of The Pussycat Dolls) suggested they form a group. They are currently The UK’s biggest teen idols, drawing the screams of middle- and high school girls nationwide. They could make a Beatles-esque splash here soon too!
- MaverickSabre.com / Mercury Records
This 21-year-old rapper/guitarist is from Hackney, the same working-class London neighborhood that Professor Green calls home. Sabre is best known for the distinctively eerie tone of his guitar-playing and his frankly, ummmm… Offbeat voice. You have to hear it, it’s kind of awesome.
- MichaelKiwanuka.com / Polydor Records
Kiwanuka is soul singer of Ugandan Heritage who grew up in North London, the son of parents who escaped Idi Amin’s murderous dictatorship. He opened for Adele on the Adele Live 2011 tour. Kiwanuka’s torn, soulful croon on singles like “Home Again” sounds just right next to giants like Bill Withers and Otis Redding, so if you’re into classic soul, Kiwanuka’s probably right up your alley. Why should you care? This R&B/folk rising star is best known for the distinctively eerie tone of his guitar-playing and his frankly, ummmm… Offbeat voice. You have to hear it, it’s kind of awesome.