The BBC News website's Sound of 2006 survey has uncovered the best new music by asking more than 100 critics and broadcasters for their favourite up-and-coming acts.
Find out about the Sound of 2006's top 10 artists and listen to full streamed tracks below.
1. Corinne Bailey Rae
She is: A British soul singer who will warm your heart one minute and break it the next.
She sings love songs that avoid being saccharine and bland and has enough pop sensibility to acquire a large and devoted following.
The pundits say: "A voice so fabulous that after I hear this I will melt." Jools Holland
She says: "I want my music to have an effect on people. But I'm not interested in celebrity."
They are: New York indie five-piece who were one of last year's biggest word-of-mouth success stories.
2. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
With effervescent, tuneful, inventive songs and singer Alec Ounsworth's distinctive yelp, they look set to go overground in 2006.
The pundits say: "The missing link between Talking Heads and Tom Waits." The Independent
They say: "What are our influences? The Pointer Sisters, Rachmaninov... I dunno." Alec Ounsworth
They are: One of the few British guitar bands of recent years to proclaim that they are pop and proud.
3. The Feeling
They are hoping to resurrect a brand of middle-of-the-road soft rock, inspired by Supertramp and 10CC, which has not been in fashion for a few decades.
The pundits say: "Buoyant, enthusiastic and likeable, theirs is unashamedly catchy FM prog-pop with vast sunshine hooks and killer choruses." Time Out
They say: "Don't fear the cheese. Embrace it." Singer Dan Gillespie
He is: An uncompromising London rapper/R&B singer who accompanies himself on an acoustic guitar.
4. Plan B
Dubbed the British Eminem, his savage tales of drugs, crime and violence are likely to attract controversy.
The pundits say: "He sings in a style that switches disconcertingly from a sweetly soulful croon to a venomous bark." The Guardian
He says: "Yeah, I'm being blunt and I'm using bad language but I'm just trying to portray something real."
They are: A quartet trying to rediscover a time when good tunes and chart success could go hand-in-hand with individuality and invention.
They can be quirky and catchy in one song and dreamy and haunting in the next.
The pundits say: "Inventive, eclectic and weaving melodies like they were going out of fashion." The Sun
They say: "You're never going to top birdsong as the ultimate pop music. All we can do is try to come close." Singer Fyfe Dangerfield
He is: A Londoner who is leading the British rap pack with charisma and wit.
His infectious delivery and gentle satire on urban life won him the best hip-hop prize at last year's Mobo Awards - beating US superstar 50 Cent.
The pundits say: "He's single-handedly made UK hip-hop cool again." RWD magazine
He says: "I'm a positive person and this positivity comes out in my music. I don't go round holding guns to people's heads, so I won't rap about holding guns to people's heads."
He is: Smooth 16-year-old US R&B prodigy who spent five weeks at the top of the US singles chart with Run It!
7. Chris Brown
He has urban credo and upbeat booty-shaking songs as well as a soulful pop singing voice that has been compared to that of the young Michael Jackson.
The pundits say: "Chris Brown makes a strong case that age really ain't nothing but a number." Billboard magazine
He says: "It's hard to stay focused with all these lovely ladies out here. But I still want to be the best."
He is: A Mexican-American former member of almost-ran boy band Sons of Harmony, who had support slots with Destiny's Child and Pink.
8. Marcos Hernandez
Now solo, he offers sensitive R&B and soulful ballads with a Latin twist on his debut album C About Me.
The pundits say: "Marcos is so smooth he would beat Usher in the world's smoothest man contest." Smash Hits
He says: "I want my music to remind you of good times. I want my words and phrases to be more than a cliche."
They are: A mainstream croon-rock group led by Harry Collier, who was discovered when he belted out happy birthday to customers at his cafe.
Repackaging Jeff Buckley for the Maroon 5 crowd, they have already had a UK Top 30 hit with Wicked Soul.
The pundits say: "An extraordinary sit-up-and-listen debut." Sunday Times
They say: "My headspace is one of constant self-flagellation. But it feels all right to be doing Kubb." Harry Collier
They are: Exuberant electro-rock teens from Wales whose energy and knack for hormone-fuelled anthems has seen them slice through the indie pack.
10. The Automatic
Debut single Recover was produced by ex-Lightning Seeds star Ian Broudie and released on the Kaiser Chiefs' label.
The pundits say: "Hyperactive wonk-pop from the Welsh backwaters. Smells like teen spirit to us." NME
They say: "We're more exciting than a lot of bands. You've got to have interesting songs." Singer Rob Hawkins