From Arctic Monkeys to Young Fathers, we rank all 26 previous Mercury Prize winners from worst to best.
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.
Continue reading: All The Mercury Prize Winning Albums, Ranked From Worst To Best
A comparatively commercial list of 12 nominees for the 2018 Mercury Prize was revealed on Thursday.
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
The 28 year old singer edged out Stormzy, Kate Tempest and Ed Sheeran to take home the 2017 Hyundai Mercury 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
Bowie's final album 'Blackstar', along with 11 other British albums released in the last year, made the shortlist announced on Thursday.
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.
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
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
The 12 Mercury Music 'Albums of the Year' were announced on Friday morning.
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?
The Scottish trio edged out eleven other nominees, including Damon Albarn and FKA twigs, to win the grand prize.
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 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
FKA Twigs and Kate Tempest are the market frontrunners for the Mercury Music Prize 2014, though East India Youth could upset the odds.
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 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
The nominations are out, but which of the twelve nominees stands the best chance of winning?
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
Four became three, but that won't stop them
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.
The 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.
We're tipping Arctic Monkeys for a second Mercury Music Prize, but the bookies are sticking with Laura Mvula's 'Sing to the Moon.'
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 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?