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Last Updated: Friday, 4 January 2008, 01:06 GMT
Soul singers top new talent list
By Ian Youngs
BBC News entertainment reporter

Adele started by singing along to Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald
Teenage soul singer Adele has come top of the BBC's Sound of 2008 poll to find the most promising new music talent.

Almost 150 UK music critics, editors and broadcasters took part in the poll by naming their favourite new acts.

Adele, 19, from London, went to the same performing arts school as Amy Winehouse, Katie Melua and Kate Nash.

She was followed in second place by fellow soul singer Duffy. Mika came top of the list last year, with Corinne Bailey Rae at number one in 2006.

The pundits were asked to pick the artists or groups they thought were the most exciting talents for the coming 12 months.

SOUND OF 2008 TOP 10
1. Adele
2. Duffy (above)
3. The Ting Tings
4. Glasvegas
5. Foals
6. Vampire Weekend
7. Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong
8. Black Kids
10. Santogold

The participants ranged from the heads of radio and TV playlists to newspaper critics and music magazine editors.

Adele's music has already earned her appearances on Jools Holland and Jonathan Ross's television shows and she has been given strong support by BBC Radios 1 and 2.

She says she discovered her voice by singing along to Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald CDs before going to the Brit school for performing arts in Croydon at the same time as Kate Nash.

She is signed to the XL label, home to the White Stripes, Radiohead and her close friend Jack Penate.

Talking about her rapid rise, she said: "I'm really excited.

"I hope it's always about the music and I hope I don't become scandalous and it takes me an hour to get out of my front door.

"I hope I always enjoy it, and I think I will. I'm having a laugh."

Duffy's wicked and I think people believe me and my music, so I think that's why we're at the top

BBC Two's Later With Jools Holland gave her a slot months before her first release, and the show's producer Alison Howe described her as "special".

"Adele's voice melted our hearts when we first heard her last spring and we had to have her on the show," she said.

"We sandwiched her between Sir Paul McCartney and Bjork before she'd even released a record. But like any confident, self-assured, sassy 19-year-old south London girl, it didn't phase her one bit."

Paul Rees, editor of Q magazine, said it was "refreshing to hear something different" after being inundated with "identikit bands who want to sound like The Libertines".

Sound of 2007 - Mika (1st, above), The Twang (2), Klaxons (3)
Sound of 2006 - Corinne Bailey Rae (1), The Feeling (3), Guillemots (5)
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)
"That Adele also has a voice that could stop traffic makes it doubly so," he said.

Adele, who does not use her surname Adkins in public, said soul singers would do well in 2008 because the music was "believable".

"I think Duffy's wicked and I think people believe me and my music, so I think that's why we're at the top."

Duffy, who has a classic soul sound, has drawn comparisons with Dusty Springfield.

"Garage pop" duo The Ting Tings and Scottish indie group Glasvegas - both of whom have been championed by music weekly NME - are in third and fourth places respectively.

Oxford punk-funk pioneers Foals complete the top five.

The pundits named their favourite three new acts, with the choices tallied up to compile the list.

Acts were ineligible if they had scored a UK top 20 single or were already famous for any reason, such as appearing on a TV talent show or enjoying success in a previous band.

The Sound of... poll is now in its sixth year. Klaxons, Kaiser Chiefs, KT Tunstall and Keane are among the other acts who have appeared on previous lists before making it big.

Adele takes us on a tour of her favourite pub


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