The Critics' Choice honour at the Brit Awards will see chart-topping Sam Smith up against Chloe Howl and Ella Eyre.
The trio of relative newcomers have been shortlisted for the award, which has previously been won by artists including Adele and Jessie J.
The winner of the prize will be announced next week and will be a guest at ceremony which takes place on February 19 at London's O2 Arena.
Nominations for the main categories at the ceremony - officially called the Brit Awards 2014 with MasterCard - will be announced in January.
Who are the trio up for the critics' accolade?
- Sam Smith
La La La - Naughty Boy featuring Sam Smith
Sam Smith has already had a number one after his vocal were featured on the Naughty Boy hit La La La.
He has also recorded with Disclosure, as well as releasing his first EP in his own right this year.
– Sam Smith
I have watched the Brits religiously for many years growing up. The people who have won before are to this day some of my favourite artists and biggest inspirations, so to even be up for this award is completely overwhelming for me.
- Chloe Howl
I Wish I Could Tell You - Chloe Howl
Chloe Howl landed a record deal within weeks of leaving school when she was 18 and has supported English musician John Newman on tour.
She released a single earlier in the year and has a debut album coming out in 2014.
- Ella Eyre
Deeper - Ella Eyre
Ella Eyre, like previous winners of this award Jessie J and Adele, is a former Brit school student.
She has worked Ella Eyre has worked with the likes of Rudimental and Naughty Boy, with a debut EP to come out this month.