Emeli Sande has won the BRITs Critics’ Choice Award 2012.

The Scottish singer and songwriter – who had a UK number one with Professor Green on ‘Read All About It’ in September- beat off competition from Maverick Sabre and Michael Kiwanuka win the prestigious accolade.

She said: “To win a Brit Award so early in my career is beyond a dream come true. I am overwhelmed to be the recipient of such a prestigious award.”

Emeli follows in the footsteps of past winners including Jessie J, Ellie Goulding, Florence + the Machine and Adele and will perform at the Nominations Launch for the BRITs on January 12, before being presented with her prize at the Brits ceremony on 21 February.

The singer quit her medical degree during her fourth year after she wrote part of the song ‘Diamond Rings’ for rapper Chipmunk and sung its chorus.

She was then given a publishing deal with EMI after it became a top 10 hit but admitted the decision to quit university was a difficult one.

She said: “It was a massive crossroads. It was the first massive risk I took. On the medical school course I had seen people who’d dreamed of being doctors since they were four as I had dreamt of doing music since that age – that was my inspiration.”