Music

The Mercury Prize explained – shortlist, who won last year and 2019 predictions

The annual prestigious Mercury Prize award ceremony takes place tonight.

And with a strong line-up, it’s looking to be an exciting night.

This year the best album of the year will be judged by a group of individuals, including Annie Mac, Jamie Cullum, Jorja Smith and Stormzy.

It will be broadcast on BBC4 at 9pm. Here is everything you need to know.

What is the Mercury Prize?

The Mercury Prize is a celebration of the 12 “Albums of the Year”.

It aims to “recognise artistic achievement across a range of contemporary music genres”.

On their website, they equate it to the “Booker Prize for literature” and the “Turner Prize for art”.

The explanation continues: “The main objectives of the Prize are to recognise and celebrate artistic achievement, proved a snapshot of the year in music and to help introduce new albums from a range of music genres to a wider audience”.

The first Mercury Prize was held in 1992, and was won by Primal Scream for the album Screamadelica.

The shortlisted artists win an Album of the Year trophy, and the main prize winner also gets a winner trophy and £25,000.

Who won the Mercury Prize last year?

The Mercury Prize was won by Wolf Alice in 2018 for their second album Visions of a Life.

The London-based foursome also picked up a £25,000 prize.

Ellie Roswell, lead singer of the alternative rock band, said: “It means so much to pick this up with my three best friends.”

The other group members are Joff Oddie, Theo Ellis and Joel Amey.

Who are the favourites for the Mercury Prize 2019?

Slowthai, with the album Nothing Great About Britain, is the bookies’ favourite.

But as far as bookies are concerned, it’s a very tight race.

IDLES’ Joy as an Act of Resistance is also up there.

Meanwhile, if you look at Metacritic, it is Little Simz’s GREY Area which has stormed ahead.

Odds seem to be against Cate Le Bon, but that doesn’t mean they won’t do well, as underdogs have won before.

Here is the whole shortlist:

• Anna Calvi – Hunter

• Black Midi – Schlagenheim

• Cate Le Bon –Reward

• Dave ‘Psychodrama’

Foals – Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1

• Fontaines D.C. – Dogrel

• IDLES – Joy as an Act of Resistance

• Little Simz – Grey Area

• NAO – Saturn

• SEED Ensemble – Driftglass

• slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain

• The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships

  • Lily Allen
  • Stormzy
  • London

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