Skepta has beaten strong competition from David Bowie, The 1975 and Radiohead to win this year’s Hyundai Mercury Prize for his album Konnichiwa.
The award ceremony, which was held at London’s Eventim Apollo, began with 12 nominees: Anohni, Bat For Lashes, David Bowie, Jamie Woon, Kano, Laura Mvula, Michael Kiwanuka, Radiohead, Savages, Skepta, The 1975 and The Comet Is Coming.
Performances from the artists followed, with Michael C Hall paying tribute to the late Bowie by performing ‘Lazarus’, and a new video from Radiohead for ‘Present Tense’, as they were unable to attend.
The 12 were then shortlisted to the final six, five as chosen by a panel of judges, and one which was chosen by the general public. The top six acts were:
Laura Mvula – The Dreaming Room
Skepta – Konnichiwa
The 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It (as voted for by the general public)
David Bowie – Blackstar
Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate
Leading up to tonight, David Bowie was the bookie’s favourite to clinch the prize, however, it was down to Jarvis Cocker, one of the judging panel to reveal the actual winner. After claiming that it came down to a contest between two, Jarvis declared Skepta as this year’s worthy winner.
— BBC Sounds (@BBCSounds) September 15, 2016
In doing so, Skepta becomes the first grime artist to win the Mercury Prize in 13 years, following Dizzee Rascal’s win in 2003. Taking to the stage with his nearest and dearest, Skepta received a rapturous applause and delivered an emotional speech.
“I’ve been trying to do this and work out this music for so long…No record label, nothing, and we just traveled the world. We just did this for us. But the love is very appreciated.”
The grime star also thanked his parents, his friends’ parents and also acknowledged all of the other nominees before performing ‘Man’.
What do you make of the result? Did the right artist win? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter @CelebMix
PHOTO CREDIT – @MERCURYPRIZE