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Benjamin Clementine Dedicates 2015 Mercury Prize Win To Paris

Mercury Music Prize Florence and the Machine

Singer-songwriter Benjamin Clementine has won this year’s Mercury Music Prize, picking up the award thanks to his debut album At Least For Now. The 26 year old, from Edmonton in London formerly performed as a busker on the streets of Paris and dedicated his award to the city following last week’s terror attacks.

Benjamin ClementineBenjamin Clementine has won this year’s Mercury Music Prize.

Accepting his £20,000 prize, Clementine said: “I never thought I would say this. If anyone is watching, any child or youngster or student. The world is your oyster. Go out there and get what you want to get”.

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Mercury Music Prize: In Defence Of Young Fathers

Young Fathers Mercury Music Prize

It wasn't quite the token jazz act winning the award, and it wasn't quite Speech Debelle but there were audible gasps inside London's Roundhouse when Edinburgh-based hip-hop band Young Fathers were announced as the winner of the Mercury Music Prize on Wednesday (October 29, 2014). 

Young FathersYoung Fathers' Dead won Scottish Album of the Year in June

Music fans and journalists had expected the winner of the annual prize to be a straight tussle between FKA Twigs and Kate Tempest, though Young Fathers - whose album Dead was heralded by the music press upon release - was the surprise name on Nick Grimshaw's lips.

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East India Youth Is Smart Bet For 'Mercury Music Awards' 2014

Damon Albarn East India Youth Kate Tempest Mercury Music Prize

The debut solo album from Damon Albarn has been nominated for the Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize 2014. The list of nominees - better than last year but still mostly uninspiring - also includes Kate Tempest, Royal Blood and Nick Mulvey. Hilariously, the Independent reports on Ed Sheeran and Lily Allen "missing out".

Damon AlbarnDamon Albarn is nominated for 'Everyday Robots'

This year's list of nominees also includes Anna Calvi, One Breath, Bombay Bicycle Club, So Long, See You Tomorrow, FKA Twigs, LP1, GoGo Penguin, v2.0, Jungle, Jungle, Polar Bear, In Each and Every One, Young Fathers, Dead.

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Our Picks For The Mercury Nominations

Mercury Music Prize

The nominations for the Mercury Music Prize are set to be announced tomorrow afternoon. Twelve artists who have released albums between 10 September 2013 and 8 September 2014 will be selected by the panel of ten judges representing the British music industry.

Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran could score a first Mercury nomination to add to his runaway commercial success

Every year there are selections from way out of left field, and deserved nominees who suffer injustice. So, ahead of the big reveal tomorrow, here are’s picks for the 2014 shortlist, a combination of ‘who we think should be nominated’ and ‘who we think will actually be nominated’.

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"God Help Them" - Is Kevin Shields Right About The Mercury Music Prize?

My Bloody Valentine Kevin Shields Mercury Music Prize

Kevin Shields, the singer and guitarist with the influential shoegaze band My Bloody Valentine, has accused the Mercury Music Prize of "banning" his band's music from consideration for the award. 

Sheilds' band were left off this year's shortlist - announced on Thursday (September 12, 2013) - in favour of a slew of more commercial acts including the Arctic Monkeys, Jake Bugg, Laura Mvula and Rudimental. The move angered the legendary guitarist who claimed his group were being ignored for self-releasing their last album and bypassing Apple, Amazon and the major record deals.

"Isn't Mercury a phone company or something, anyway? What's that got to do with music?" Shields said in an exclusive interview with The Guardian, "We're banned by them, and do you know why? Because we're not on Amazon or iTunes. That's one of the qualifying criteria. You have to have major distribution or be on iTunes or Amazon."

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To No One's Surprise, Alt-J Win The Mercury Prize!

Alt-J Mercury Music Prize

Congrats to the Scotch quartet, Alt-J! The alternative indie act have pretty much been the favourite for the prize since the nominations were released, and now they have proven all their backers right. 

Despite having been around since 2007, forming when they met at Leeds University, Alt-J have steadily risen to success with little fan-fair but plenty of talent. 2012 really seems to have been their year, with the release of their first major studio album, 'An Awesome Wave', which is the record that has just won The Mercury Prize. Despite it not charting higher than number 18 in any country, the judges for the prize disregarded this and consider it to be an exemplary specimen of British music. Despite the album title sounding like something to come out of the mouth of a dread-locked Californian clad in tye-die, their album really is rather British. With driving riffs, complex lyricism and a shoe-gazy atmosphere, theirs is an accumulation of the sounds that have dominated the alternative music scene over the past few of years.

Speaking to the Guardian in August this year, Alt-J's keyboardist, Gus Unger-Hamilton said: "We've got this far with pretty much nobody knowing anything about us". With this accolade under their belts this apparent anonymity will be short lived.

A Brief Run Down Of The Mercury Prize Favourites

Jessie Ware Richard Hawley Mercury Music Prize Alt-J Plan B Django Django The Maccabees Ben Howard Field Music Lianne La Havas Michael Kiwanuka Sam Lee

The Mercury Prize is set to be awarded tomorrow (1st Nov. 2012), and true to form and tradition, many of the artists in the nomination lists are ones that you may never have heard, or even heard of. As such, we thought it'd be useful to give you a brief breakdown of three acts topping the list of favourites, Alt-J, Richard Hawley and Jessie Ware

Jessie Ware's album 'Devotion' is nominated and 3rd in the favourites. Ware used to be a vocalist with drum and base act SBTRKT. Some of that synthy influence can be heard in this album, but the vocals hark back to the '80s and early '90s, though with her own twee stamp. 

Richard Hawley comes in second. He was originally in the Britpop band Longpigs and also played with Pulp for a few years before launching his solo career. He's nominated for his whimsically titled album 'Standing at the Sky's Edge'. Despite that whimsy, he has described this album as 'angry', to the Guardian. The guitars and vocals are verging on gritty, but angry? Not quite. 

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