SHIRLEY singer-songwriter Clare Maguire has been named as one of Britain’s most exciting rising stars.
On Monday, it was announced that the 23-year-old had made the top five in the BBC Sound of 2011.
The list, compiled by more than 150 critics and broadcasters, features the acts tipped for big things this year.
For Clare, it is a great start to what looks to be a very busy 12 months - her debut album is being released next month.
The break-through comes after many years of hard work trying to make a name for herself.
“I’d be obsessively on MySpace, getting a group of people on it to listen so that I could create a hype around it,” she said.
“I’d sit up all night and write songs and keep putting them up and try and get a fanbase.”
The former St Martin’s pupil had left school at 16, after being told by a teacher to give up her “pipe dream”.
Clare went on to work at Topshop, in Solihull, while uploading her songs to the internet.
At 19 she moved to London and it wasn’t long before the record labels came calling.
Last year, Clare collaborated with Brummie chart-topper Mike Skinner and supported rapper Plan B.
To find out more about the BBC Sound of 2011, go to www.bbc.co.uk/music.
q Clare’s album - Light After Dark - will be out on February 28.