Teenager Dizzee Rascal has become the first rapper to win Britain's prestigious PANASONIC MERCURY MUSIC PRIZE.

The up and coming star, who at 19 is the youngest person to land the $32,000 (GBP20,000) award, took the title for his highly acclaimed debut album BOY IN DA CORNER.

He triumphed over the hot favourites, retro rockers The Darkness, to pick up the accolade, which honours the most innovative and excellent album of the year. Heavyweight rockers Coldplay and Radiohead were also in the running, but failed to attend the London ceremony.

The rapper, real name DYLAN MILLS, said as he picked up his prize, "Support British talent because it's out there."

10/09/2003 01:53