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European Commission - Press release

Winners of the European Border Breakers' pop awards

Brussels / Groningen, 6 October 2011 – The winners of the 2012 European Border Breakers Awards, celebrating the top new talents in European pop music, were announced today by Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth and music festival Eurosonic Noorderslag.

The winners of the 2012 awards are:

  • Elektro Guzzi (Austria)

  • Selah Sue (Belgium)

  • Agnes Obel (Denmark)

  • Ben l'Oncle Soul (France)

  • Boy (Germany)

  • James Vincent McMorrow (Ireland)

  • Afrojack (Netherlands)

  • Alexandra Stan (Romania)

  • Swedish House Mafia (Sweden)

  • Anna Calvi (UK)

"Music is a universal language that touches billions of people, regardless of age or background. Our winners have all succeeded in reaching out to audiences beyond their home country through their talent and energy. I hope the awards will inspire other artists to take their music beyond their national borders and break into new markets," said Androulla Vassiliou.

To be eligible for the awards, the artists must have enjoyed border-breaking success with their first international release in Europe between 1 August 2010 and 31 July 2011. The winners are selected on the basis of digital release sales and broadcast frequency data provided by music market analyst Nielsen Music Control, as well as radio play information from European Broadcasting Union (EBU) radio stations and information on live performances from festivals participating in the European Talent Exchange Program (ETEP).


The winners will receive their awards in a televised ceremony hosted by TV personality and musician Jools Holland at the Eurosonic Noorderslag music festival in Groningen, Netherlands, on 11 January 2012. The ceremony – including performances by most of the winning acts – will be broadcast by Dutch National Television (NOS/NTR) and will also receive European coverage through TV channels and radio stations.

One of the winners will also receive a 'Public Choice Award'. From 1 November until December 31 the public can vote for their favourite artist on By voting, they could win a trip to the award ceremony.

Former winners of the 'EBBAs' include Adele, The Baseballs, Carla Bruni, KT Tunstall, Tokio Hotel, The Ting Tings, Lykke Li, The Script, Milow, Katie Melua, Mumford and Sons and Caro Emerald.

Now in their ninth year, the awards are funded by the EU Culture Programme and organized by Eurosonic Noorderslag, in partnership with the EBU. The awards are supported by Buma Cultuur, SNN, Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Province of Groningen, City of Groningen and European Music Office.

The European Talent Exchange Program boosts circulation of talented European artists among a network of European summer festivals. It creates opportunities for professionals in the European music business and ultimately contributes to the development of the European music industry.

The European music industry makes an important contribution to growth and jobs, accounting for a significant part of our cultural and creative industries, which provide quality jobs for 8.5 million people in the EU and contribute 4.5% to Europe's GDP. The total value of the EU recorded music market is around € 6 billion a year. The European recorded music market presents around a fifth of the total music market which is worth close to € 30 billion.

To find out more:

Website of the prize:

Culture portal of the European Union:

Contacts :

Dennis Abbott (+32 2 295 92 58)

Dina Avraam (+32 2 295 96 67)

Eurosonic: Marije Jansen(+31 6 55 80 27 82)

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