Mercury Music Prize

Mercury Music Prize

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All The Mercury Prize Winning Albums, Ranked From Worst To Best


Mercury Music Prize

The Mercury Prize has enjoyed a somewhat chequered reputation over its 26-year existence. Set up in 1992 by the British Phonographic Industry and British Association of Record Dealers as an alternative to the populism of the BRIT Awards, the Mercury Prize is open to British and Irish artists dealing in any genre from pop and rock to rap and jazz (except metal, controversially). 12 albums are nominated from hundreds of eligible records put forward by their labels (for a free, a problem for independents in the age of streaming and razor-thin profits), and a panel of judges selects the winner from that shortlist.

Nobody can ever tell what the massive panel of judges will come up with, or what will inform their eventual choice. More so in the past than now, the Mercury Prize could have a star-making effect, genuinely launching an artist to national prominence and chart stardom. When it’s at its best, the Mercury Prize acts as a public service – providing a platform for previously underground or word-of-mouth artists and bringing them to the attention of the country at large.

Mercury Prize nominees

Continue reading: All The Mercury Prize Winning Albums, Ranked From Worst To Best

The 2018 Mercury Prize Nominees Are Revealed


Mercury Music Prize Arctic Monkeys Noel Gallagher Florence and the Machine Lily Allen

Arctic Monkeys have become the joint second most-nominated artist in the history of The Mercury Prize, with their sixth studio album Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino landing them their fourth nod as the 2018 shortlist was announced this morning.

Revealed on BBC Radio 6’s mid-morning show on Thursday (July 26th), Arctic Monkeys join PJ Harvey with four career nominations, both behind Radiohead’s five. The Sheffield-based group won in 2006 for their debut Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, while Harvey is the only artist to have ever won the Mercury Prize twice (in 2001 and 2011).

They are joined on the 2018 shortlist by a couple of other second-time nominees. Everything Everything received a nod for their fourth record A Fever Dream, as did Wolf Alice for a second consecutive time with sophomore album Visions of a Life. Florence and the Machine’s fourth record High As Hope was also nominated, giving lead singer Florence Welch the third nomination of her career.

Continue reading: The 2018 Mercury Prize Nominees Are Revealed

Sampha Wins The 2017 Mercury Prize


Mercury Music Prize

South London singer Sampha has won the 2017 Mercury Prize for album of the year for his debut LP Process, beating the likes of Ed Sheeran and Stormzy to win the coveted accolade.

The 28 year old star, full name Sampha Sisay, released Process back in February this year, after a lengthy five-year recording process from when he initially broke through as a guest vocalist on SBTRKT’s album. He had hitherto been best known for singing on other artist’s songs, with his distinctive soulful vocals gracing records by the likes of Beyonce, Kanye West and Drake.

The writing of Process was heavily influenced by the death of his mother from cancer as he cared for her, and by his fears for his own health.

Continue reading: Sampha Wins The 2017 Mercury Prize

David Bowie, Radiohead And Skepta Included On 2016 Mercury Music Prize Shortlist


Mercury Music Prize David Bowie Radiohead Bat For Lashes Michael Kiwanuka Laura Mvula The 1975 Kano Skepta Jamie Woon

Radiohead, Skepta, The 1975 and the late David Bowie are the big names to have been shortlisted for the 2016 Hyundai Mercury Music Prize, with Adele and previous winner James Blake the notable absences.

The 12-strong shortlist, picked by a panel of music critics, industry figures and artists, was announced on Thursday morning (August 4th) on BBC Radio 6 Music. David Bowie’s 25th and final album Blackstar, released just two days before his death in January this year, is already being touted as one of the favourites to win the overall prize when the winner is announced on September 15th.

Radiohead’s recent album A Moon Shaped Pool makes the Oxford five-piece the most nominated act in Mercury Prize history. Their albums OK Computer, Amnesiac, Hail To the Thief and In Rainbows all made shortlists in previous years, and this doesn’t even count lead singer Thom Yorke’s nomination for his 2006 solo album The Eraser. However, they have not yet won the award.

Continue reading: David Bowie, Radiohead And Skepta Included On 2016 Mercury Music Prize Shortlist

Benjamin Clementine - 'The Mercury Prize' winner Benjamin Clementine with his award for the album 'At Least for Now' at BBC Radio Theatre, Broadcasting House, The Mercury Prize - London, United Kingdom - Friday 20th November 2015

Benjamin Clementine
Benjamin Clementine
Benjamin Clementine
Benjamin Clementine
Benjamin Clementine
Benjamin Clementine

Lauren Laverne - The Mercury Prize: Albums of the Year held at the BBC Radio Theatre, Broadcasting House - Arrivals at BBC Radio Theatre, Broadcasting House, The Mercury Prize - London, United Kingdom - Friday 20th November 2015

Lauren Laverne
Lauren Laverne
Lauren Laverne

Mercury Music Prize 2015 Nominations - Who's On The List?


Mercury Music Prize Florence and the Machine Wolf Alice Jamie XX Aphex Twin Slaves Roisin Murphy Gaz Coombes Ghostpoet

The Mercury Music Prize nominations for 2015 have been announced, and it’s a list with quite a few surprising omissions and inclusions.

The twelve artists fortunate enough to make the select list were announced over the course of Lauren Laverne’s BBC 6Music Radio show on Friday (October 16th), with Florence + The Machine and Wolf Alice being the biggest names among the dozen.

Florence’s third album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, which reached Number 1 on both sides of the Atlantic earlier this year, is her second nomination after her debut Lungs in 2009, which was beaten by Speech Debelle. Wolf Alice’s first album My Love Is Cool came out in the same month and made Number 2 in the UK, winning rave reviews in the process.

Continue reading: Mercury Music Prize 2015 Nominations - Who's On The List?

Young Fathers Win The Mercury Music Prize


Mercury Music Prize Young Fathers

Scottish trio Young Fathers have won this year’s Mercury Music Prize. Their debut album DEAD received the final nod from the judges when the announcement was made by Nick Grimshaw at London’s iconic Roundhouse venue on Wednesday evening.

Young Fathers Mercury prize
Young Fathers won the Mercury Music Prize on Wednesday

When the group was interviewed by More4’s Alice Levine a matter of seconds after scooping the prize, the members sounded rather shocked and lost for words, stating “it’s positive”. Their acceptance speech was similarly abrupt, simply saying “thank you, we love you, we love you all, thank you”. When asked what they intended to do with their £20,000 prize, the group’s ‘G’ Hastings implied that they hadn’t really considered the eventuality of winning it.

Continue reading: Young Fathers Win The Mercury Music Prize

Tahliah Barnett - Photographs from the 2014 Barclaycard Mercury Prize which Edinburgh based Hip-Hop band 'Young Fathers' took away the nights main award at The Roundhouse in London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 29th October 2014

Tahliah Barnett
Young Fathers
Ade Adepitan
Young Fathers
Ade Adepitan
Anna Calvi

FKA Twigs Favourite To Win Mercury Music Prize As Bookies Pray For Upset


FKA Twigs Kate Tempest Mercury Music Prize

Bookmakers will be hoping for a surprise result at the Mercury Music Prize on Wednesday night (October 29, 2014) as punters continue to back favourites FKA Twigs and Kate Tempest. The latest odds have the former as the narrow frontrunner at 5/2, with Brockley-born singer-songwriter Tempest available at 3/1 for her album Everybody Down.

FKA TwigsFKA Twigs remains the favourite to win the Mercury Music Prize tonight

FKA Twigs' record LP1 is one of the year's most critically acclaimed records, though Tempest's foray into hip-hop has seen her selected by the Poetry Book Society as one of the 20 next generation poets. She also won the Ted Hughes award for her work Brand New Ancients.

Continue reading: FKA Twigs Favourite To Win Mercury Music Prize As Bookies Pray For Upset

Our Guide To This Year's Mercury Music Prize Nominations


Mercury Music Prize Damon Albarn Royal Blood Bombay Bicycle Club FKA Twigs East India Youth Young Fathers Kate Tempest Anna Calvi Nick Mulvey

The 24th edition of the annual Barclaycard Mercury Prize is due to be held on Wednesday 29th October at London’s Roundhouse.

Last week we brought you our analysis of who we thought would make the dozen-strong shortlist from which the judges will pick the eventual winner. We got five out of the twelve correct, not bad as many pundits have expressed surprise at the relative obscurity of this year’s list in comparison to previous awards.

Only two of the nominated albums have reached the Number 1 spot in the UK Albums Chart, and only one nominee can realistically call himself a household name. There has also been a surprising snub for Sam Smith, who has made a huge impression on the British public’s imagination, with his debut album In The Lonely Hour sitting at the top the charts four months after its release.

Continue reading: Our Guide To This Year's Mercury Music Prize Nominations

Tahliah Debrett Barnett and FKA Twigs - Barclaycard Mercury Prize - Albums of the Year Nominations - London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 10th September 2014

Fka Twigs
Tahliah Debrett Barnett and Fka Twigs
Tahliah Debrett Barnett and Fka Twigs
Fka Twigs and Tahliah Debrett Barnett
Tahliah Debrett Barnett and Fka Twigs

Halt-J? No Way - Mercury Winners Alt-J Will Continue Despite Gwil Sainsbury Exit


Alt-J Mercury Music Prize

In an unexpected shakeup of one of 2013’s most talked-about bands, Gwil Sainsbury left Alt-J following their Mercury win; but that doesn’t mean the end for the now-three-piece formed in Leeds back in 2007, as they’ve stated their intention to soldier on.

Alt-JThe then-four-piece Alt-J at the Q Awards 2012

The band announced the founder and bassist’s departure on Twitter, posting: “With regret, Gwil is leaving alt-J. This is purely a personal decision and as our best friend we support him completely,” on the 11th of January.

Continue reading: Halt-J? No Way - Mercury Winners Alt-J Will Continue Despite Gwil Sainsbury Exit

Is Laura Mvula The Winner Of The Mercury Music Prize 2013?


Laura Mvula Arctic Monkeys Foals Mercury Music Prize David Bowie

Laura Mvula's debut albumSing To The Moon, one of the contenders for the BBC Sound of 2013 title, could claim a far more lucrative and career-defining prize at London's Roundhouse tonight.

Laura MvulaLaura Mvula Is The Favourite For the Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize

For weeks, Disclosure's Settle has been the bookmakers' favorite to win the Barclaycard sponsored prize and £20,000 prize money, though on Wednesday Mvula's impressive record - a fusion of jazz, pop and even orchestral elements- was cut to just 4/6 with most bookies. Paddy Power are still holding strong with even money odds, but there's been an undeniable shift in who the bookmakers believe will win the Mercury Music Prize, presented by Lauren Laverne tonight.

Continue reading: Is Laura Mvula The Winner Of The Mercury Music Prize 2013?

Lianne La Havas and Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize Thursday 1st November 2012 Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize held at the Roundhouse - Arrivals

Lianne La Havas and Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize
Lianne La Havas and Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize
Lianne La Havas and Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize
Lianne La Havas and Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize
Lianne La Havas and Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize
Lianne La Havas and Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize
Mercury Music Prize

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