Soul singer Ray BLK tops the BBC’s annual Sound Of 2017 poll.
The 22-year-old is the first artist to win the award without being signed to a label and beat Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, RAYE, Jorja Smith and Nadia Rose to first place.
Ray BLK has worked with the likes of Stormzy on ‘My Hood’ and SG Lewis with ‘Chill Out’ and draws influences from Missy Elliot and Timbaland.
She said: “I feel so honoured to have topped the list this early in my career and join such an incredible alumni of winners. Thank you so much to the BBC and all the voters! I’m particularly proud to be a part of this year’s list as it’s full of so much talent, some of whom are independent artists like myself which I really hope inspires the next generation of artists.”
The longlist featured the likes of AJ Tracey, Anderson. Paak, The Japanese House and Dave, and previous winners have included Sam Smith and Adele.
Four of the top five acts are black British females which reflects the diversity and national recognition of the UK’s urban music scene.