Poisoned chalices come in all shapes and sizes, especially when it comes to music awards - remember Speech Debelle after the Mercury Music Prize? Nope, us neither (although she's now back on track with new material). Hype is like a firework - lit once, it soars through the roof and up into the heavens, before plummeting to Earth in a less-than-gracious fashion. Thankfully in some cases, the receivers of such plaudits and accolades continue to nurture their talent naturally, rather than grow large heads too big for their own shoulders, while busy plastering their gawping faces all over every conceivable medium and forum.
Check out Lianne La Havas. Faced with the albatross that is the BBC Sound of 2012 award, the diminutive and eccentric singer, musician and songwriter has kept it real with the release of just one EP, the promising 'Forget' and sold-out shows around the UK, Ireland and it seems, New York. And judging by her Facebook page, her fans don't get short shrift - she says hello to them and signs things. That's a star in the making.
2012 will see plenty of La Havas action in many guises, in fact. This week, she will play two sold-out headliners in Birmingham and London, followed by a (sold-out) support slot with Laura Marling at London's South Bank on Friday. In April, she will join Bombay Bicycle Club on tour from Cambridge to Alexandra Palace, before hitting the festival trail at Camp Bestival 2012, Wilderness 2012, The Great Escape Festival 2012, the Apple Cart 2012, Latitude 2012 and Live at Leeds 2012 with no doubt, more to be confirmed soon.
But if you haven't caught her live on her tod yet - fear not. Bristol, Glasgow, Newcastle and Manchester are the latest cities to be confirmed for shows in May, with a new London date at the Village Underground in July. Tickets for the shows at the respective cities take place on 4th (Trinity Centre), 6th (Oran Mor), 7th (Northumbria University Students Union) and 10th May (Manchester Academy, after appearing at Brighton's Great Escape), then 17th July (London). You can expect plenty of songs set to appear on her debut album, due late spring.
Tickets cost around £10 (£14 for London) and go on sale from us on Wednesday morning at 9am. If you're keen to show support at those Bombay Bicycle Club gigs then you'd better hurry - Portsmouth, Leicester and Ally Pally in London are down to the last few tickets (the rest are available for £17.50 on average).