Florence and the Machine will perform at the Brit nominations on 20 January
Quirky pop singer-songwriter Florence and the Machine has won the Brit Awards' Critics' Choice prize for the new act most likely to be big in 2009.
Londoner Florence Welch, aged 22, was picked by a panel of 50 newspaper and magazine critics and heads of music from major UK TV and radio stations.
Known for her effervescent stage shows, her debut single Kiss With a Fist was used in a Channel 4 TV trailer.
She has been signed by Island Records, home to Amy Winehouse, U2 and Mika.
This is the second year the Brit Awards have handed out their Critics' Choice prize, which was won by Adele last year.
Florence and the Machine will perform at the Brit Award nominations on 20 January and will receive her award at the main ceremony on 18 February.
Florence said: "Blimey, a Brit Award - wow the world's gone weird. Thank you so much to the critics.
"I'm making my album at the moment - it's sort of sounding like a choir, a harp, some metal chains and a piano all put through a car crusher, then hit with wooden planks really hard.
"I will see you at the awards. I'll be the one trying to get off with Katy Perry and passed out next to Leona Lewis."
Brit Awards chairman Ged Doherty said: "The aim of introducing this award last year was to help boost the career of a new British artist by giving them a platform to reach a wider audience.
"Adele clearly fulfilled all our hopes and ambitions for this award. I hope Florence and the Machine goes on to enjoy similar success."
Electro-pop singer Little Boots came second on the Brits list, followed by dark rock band White Lies.
All three acts are also on the longlist for the BBC's Sound of 2009, which has canvassed 135 of the UK's leading music writers, editors and broadcasters to find their favourite new acts. The BBC Sound Of... list is now in its seventh year.
The 15 acts in contention for Sound of 2009 were announced last week. The top five will be revealed from Monday 5 January, culminating in the announcement of the winner on Friday 9 January.