The UK has announced who its contestant will be for this year’s Eurovision song contest.
Controversially, the public vote - which is usually used to determine the performer - has been abandoned this time around. Instead, record studio BMG hand-picked the artist and song.
Their chosen pick has a strong track record of topping the charts, both in the UK and across the continent, so perhaps it will turn out to be a masterstroke after all.
Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s singer and song.
Who is representing the UK at this year’s Eurovision?
This year’s entrant to the Eurovision Song Contest will be James Newman.
The choice was confirmed on Thursday (27 Feb) morning via BBC radio.
Who is James Newman?
James Newman is said to be one of the UK’s most successful songwriters, having penned several multi-platinum selling records and been nominated for a slew of awards.
He won the Brit Award for British Single of the Year in 2014 for his chart-topping song, Waiting All Night, performed by Rudimental and Ella Eyre.
Newman then followed it up with another number one single - Blame by Calvin Harris, and featuring James’ brother, UK popstar, John Newman. It also reached the number one spot in a host of other countries around the world, including Holland, Mexico and Norway.
Newman then went on to collaborate with Ed Sheeran, who provided the vocals on his next major hit - Rudimental’s Lay It All On Me. The song was certified platinum in both the UK and the US.
Across the pond, Newman has also been nominated for two Grammy awards, thanks to his work on Toni Braxton’s Coping and Kesha’s Let ‘Em Talk.
Outside of his songwriting success, Newman has spoken of his desire to record his own material. His biggest break so far came in 2018, collaborating with Dutch DJ Armin Van Buuren on the song Therapy, which was hugely popular across Europe.
Given the way that the Eurovision Song Contest has helped to launch acts like Dua Lipa and Rag’n’Bone Man in the past, the continental competition could be the perfect way for Newman to establish himself as a pop star in his own right.
What song is he singing?
Newman will be singing My Last Breath, a single which debuted on BBC radio as he was announced to be this year’s Eurovision contestant.
Recorded while Newman was in Scotland, the track came from the combined efforts of several of the UK’s most successful songwriters.
Ed Drewett (who has written for the likes of Craig David, Olly Murs and One Direction), Iain James (Leona Lewis, One Direction and Emeli Sande) and Adam Argyle (Dua Lipa, James Bay and Ava Max) all worked on the new track.
The group all wrote the song while staying by a loch in Scotland, with Newman claiming that he knew it was “the one” right away.
UK fans who are tired of seeing their artists propping up the scoreboard will be hoping that his confidence proves to be well-founded.
The full video for the new song is available now via the Eurovision Song Contest’s official YouTube Channel.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, The i.