08 March 2016

A BRITs Critics’ Choice Awards nominee will be heading to Wearside to perform at a major awards ceremony.

Izzy Bizu, who was one of three performers in the running for the prestigious award - whose past winners include Adele, Sam Smith and James Bay - will be joining headliners Lawson at Sunderland’s Retail and Style Awards at the Bridges shopping centre on April 23.

The event, organised by Sun FM and the Bridges and supported by Sunderland BID, will celebrate the city’s top businesses and individuals across 16 categories.

The 21-year-old jazz and soul singer-songwriter, who has already supported Sam Smith on tour, will be part of a full evening of entertainment which includes a performance from Lawson, a three course dinner, fashion show and the awards ceremonies.

“We’re pleased to have been able to bring another fantastic act to Sunderland for our awards which will really add another dimension to what is already shaping up to be an incredible evening,” said Julian Carter, MD of Sun FM.

With over two million views on Youtube and millions of plays on Spotify, the London-based singer - whose inspirations include Amy Winehouse, Marvin Gaye and Billie Holiday – is the second performer lined up for the city’s Retail and Style Awards, with further acts to be announced in the near future.

Ken Dunbar, Chief Executive of main sponsors Sunderland BID, said he was “delighted” to hear Izzy Bizu was coming to the city.

“The fact the awards have attracted such high profile performers shows the importance of this event, not just to businesses in the city but to those in the public eye nationally,” said Ken.

“This gives us a great opportunity to showcase what an exciting and vibrant city Sunderland is and how we are able to add to the kudos of the evening with appearances by some of the UK’s leading performers.”

Tickets for the Retail and Style Awards are £39 each and are limited. They are available to buy from customer services at the Bridges, from the reception at Sun FM and via Eventbrite.

The awards recognise top shops, restaurants, bars, beauty salons and hairdressers along with various sizes of retail business, employees and customer service.

There are 16 award categories in total, including the Glam Mam and Most Stylish Mackem award. Voting for shortlists will begin on March 7 at A red carpet award will also be presented to the best dressed attendee on the night.

A number of sponsorship opportunities are also available for the night and further information is available by contacting Harry Collinson at [email protected].