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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 January 2007, 23:59 GMT
Singer Mika tops BBC talent list
By Ian Youngs
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

Mika

Flamboyant pop singer-songwriter Mika has been named the best new talent in the BBC's Sound of 2007 music poll.

The Beirut-born, London-based 23-year-old has been compared to the Scissor Sisters and Freddie Mercury.

More than 130 UK-based music critics and broadcasters took part in the poll by naming their favourite new acts.

Birmingham rock band The Twang were second, with "new rave" group the Klaxons third. Corinne Bailey Rae came top of last year's Sound of 2006 list.

The BBC News website's new music survey is now in its fifth year. Rapper 50 Cent, Keane and The Bravery have been among previous winners.

SOUND OF 2007 TOP 10
The Twang
1. Mika
2. The Twang (above)
3. Klaxons
4. Sadie Ama
5. Enter Shikari
6. Air Traffic
7. Cold War Kids
8. Just Jack
9. Ghosts
10. The Rumble Strips
Razorlight, the Scissor Sisters, The Feeling, the Kaiser Chiefs and KT Tunstall are among the others that have appeared on past Sound of... lists before making it big.

Mika's debut single Grace Kelly has already received heavy radio airplay and is currently the most frequently played song on BBC Radio 2.

He said he was "thrilled" at his position on the Sound of 2007 list.

"It means a lot, especially if you look at the people who have won in the past five years. It's great company to be in," he said.

He asked the public to give him a chance and not judge him too quickly.

Mika is a natural pop star with style, personality and great pop songs in spades
Alison Howe
Later... with Jools Holland producer

"I really want people to know me, to find out about me, and if they really like me, to stick with me," he said.

"Hype is scary. But this is one of the best things to happen to me so far because the people doing this poll have nothing to gain."

Radio 2's head of music, Colin Martin, praised Mika for being "infectious, immediate and melodic".

"Every so often an artist comes along with hit written all over them and 2007 looks like being Mika's year," he said.

Alison Howe, producer of influential TV show Later... with Jools Holland, said he was "a natural pop star with style, personality and great pop songs in spades".

SOUND OF... POLL GREATEST HITS
Sound of 2006 - Corinne Bailey Rae (1st), The Feeling (3), Guillemots (5), Chris Brown (7), The Automatic (10)
Sound of 2005 - The Bravery (1), Bloc Party (2), Kaiser Chiefs (5), KT Tunstall (6)
Sound of 2004 - Keane (1), Franz Ferdinand (2), Razorlight (4), Joss Stone (5), McFly (6), Scissor Sisters (7)
Sound of 2003 - 50 Cent (1), Yeah Yeah Yeahs (3), Dizzee Rascal (5), Sean Paul (10)
And Q magazine editor Paul Rees said: "He looks the part and his songs suggest what would have happened had Queen cross-bred with the Scissor Sisters."

Below Mika on the list, The Twang have been called "Britain's best new band" by the NME, while the Klaxons incorporate infectious leftfield guitar pop with rave attitude and imagery.

R&B singer Sadie Ama, sister of 1990s soul star Shola Ama, is at fourth, with Enter Shikari - a band who mix hardcore rock and trance - in fifth place.

The poll was complied by asking the UK's most knowledgeable and influential tipsters to name their favourite three new acts.

The responses were weighted to take account of each pundit's stature, genre and record in previous polls, as well as the order in which they ranked their tips, with the results compiled into a top 10.

Artists were not eligible if they had already had a top 20 single or album in the UK, or if they were already famous for any reason.


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