Declan McKenna has been named BBC Music Introducing Artist Of The Year. The accolade is the first of 2017’s BBC Music Awards to be announced. The remaining three will be revealed tonight at 9pm on BBC Two on The Year In Music 2017, hosted by Claudia Winkleman with guest presenter Clara Amfo. Declan says: "I'm delighted and honoured to accept this award from BBC Music Introducing. I'd like to say a big thank you for relentlessly rooting for me throughout the years; no award could ever overshadow the time, effort and support given by so many others to get me to the point I'm at now, and for that I'm eternally grateful!"
Declan, a singer-songwriter and musician from Hertfordshire, originally uploaded his breakthrough single, Brazil, to BBC Music Introducing in Beds, Herts & Bucks in 2014 when he was only 15 years old. That first play on Introducing on BBC Three Counties Radio was heard by someone at Columbia Records, the label that later signed him, and was also quickly picked up by Radio 1.
In 2016 Declan recorded an Introducing session at the legendary Maida Vale studios and also performed on the BBC Music Introducing stage at Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Exeter. Fast forward to 2017 and he was invited back as a returning artist to perform at Big Weekend and at BBC Music Introducing Live at O2 Academy Brixton for their tenth birthday. Declan also appeared on the longlist of the BBC’s Sound Of 2017 poll and this year released his acclaimed debut album, What Do You Think About the Car? to much critical acclaim.
In The Year In Music 2017 (9pm, Tonight on BBC Two), three further BBC Music Awards 2017 winners will be announced - Artist of the Year, British Album of the Year and Live Performance of the Year - and the artists presented with their awards. The show will see musicians and broadcasters giving their views on the highs and lows in the world of music over the last 12 months, including the greatest performances and the biggest stories. Contributors include Stormzy, Foo Fighters, Nile Rodgers, Rag'n'Bone Man, Liam Gallagher, Dua Lipa, Sampha, George Ezra, Blossoms, Nick Grimshaw, Mistajam and Jo Whiley, among others.