Out of all the Best New Artist contenders -- and 2012 had some stiff competition -- our favorite redheaded Brit and singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran earned the crown! Congrats Ed!

Although the 22-year-old made his mark in the U.K. way before '+' debuted in the States, we caught onto him quickly once we heard the album. '+' boasts catchy, melancholic tunes 'Lego House' and 'Small Bump,' as well as the loop pedal-integrated 'Give Me Love' and his current Top 40 hit 'The A Team.'

Aside from an endorsement from friend and fellow songwriter Taylor Swift (she praised his album on Twitter), Sheeran is known to party with out favorite boy banders One Direction, and even penned their recent smash ballad 'Little Things.' His duet with Swift, ‘Everything Has Changed,’ is one of the better (and underrated) tracks off her No. 1 album, ‘Red.'

Sheeran -- earning 39.05% of the votes -- beat out several spunky and outspoken contenders, such as rapper Azealia Banks, British songstress Cher Lloyd, and crooner Frank Ocean; he also was favored over fellow U.K. star and Jay-Z protégé Rita Ora, Korean YouTube phenom Psy, and sultry singer Lana Del Rey for the for 2012's Best New Artist.

Congrats Ed, and to the fans who voted for him!! We can't wait to hear what he has in store for 2013!