LONDON Singer-songwriter Tom Odell was named the Brit Awards' tip for the top in 2013, the first male artist to receive the honor previously won by chart queens including Adele and Jessie J.
The 22-year-old, whose musical style and voice has drawn comparisons to Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin, beat London electronic duo AlunaGeorge and classically trained soul singer Laura Mvula to the Critics' Choice Award.
Selected by a panel of music industry experts, the annual prize goes to a British artist tipped for mainstream success, and previous winners have gone on to top charts in Britain and beyond.
"Looking at the list of amazing female artists who have won the Award already, I just hope I don't let the boys down!" Odell said in a statement.
He released his debut E.P. "Songs From Another Love" in late 2012 and followed up with a performance on the popular live music show "Later...with Jools Holland".
Odell also appears on the BBC's Sound of 2013 longlist and MTV's Brand New For 2013 selection of 10 up-and-coming artists, as the music business seeks to identify the chart-toppers of tomorrow.
Many acts, including Odell, already have record deals with major labels.
(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)