Mercury Prize: Stormzy, Kano and Michael Kiwanuka all make shortlist


STORMZY, KANO and Michael Kiwanuka are all among the artists whose albums have been shortlisted for this year’s Mercury Prize.

The prestigious award celebrates the best albums of the year, as picked by a panel of judges.

This year’s judges include broadcaster and DJ Gemma Cairney, singer Jorja Smith and editorial director at Tshepo Mokoena.

It’s the second Mercury Prize nomination for Kano, whose acclaimed album Hoodies All Summer has made the shortlist this time around.

Michael Kiwanuka’s third album, Kiwanuka, which peaked at Number 2 in the UK album chart, has secured him his third Mercury Prize nomination.

Reacting to the news, Kiwanuka tweeted: “An honour to have KIWANUKA on the @MercuryPrize shortlist. Thank you for all your support so far and congrats to the other shortlisted artists.”

Stormzy’s second studio album Heavy is the Head has earned him his second Mercury Prize nomination. Gang Signs and Prayer, his first album, made the shortlist in 2017.

Mobo award-winning musician Moses Boyd is also among those in the running for the prize. His album Dark Matter has been shortlisted.

Boyd told Mercury Prize that the recognition meant a lot to him.

Last year Dave won the Mercury Prize for his debut album Psyschodrama.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive at record labels association, the BPI, which organises the Hyundai Mercury Prize, summarised the shortlist as “extraordinary music for extraordinary times”.

‘The Mercury Prize is back, reminding us that the creative brilliance of our artists is a constant, even when the world is turned upside down,” Taylor said. “We believe it’s all the more important this year for the Mercury Prize to shine a spotlight on 12 exceptional Albums of the Year, spanning an eclectic gamut of genres and uniting the biggest names in music with the most exciting new talent.

“These records tell stories, dig deep into the personal experiences of their creators and represent the best in contemporary music. We congratulate all the shortlisted artists and thank our expert judges and our partners, Hyundai and YouTube Music, for supporting this year’s prize.’

The winner of the 2020 Mercury Prize will be announced in September. They will be awarded a trophy and a cash prize of £25,000.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, organisers have said it is likely that a live awards ceremony will not take place.

See the full shortlist below:

Anna Meredith – FIBS
Charli XCX – how i’m feeling now
Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
Georgia – Seeking Thrills
Kano – Hoodies All Summer
Lanterns on the LakeSpook the Herd
Laura Marling – Song for Our Daughter
Michael Kiwanuka – KIWANUKA
Moses Boyd  – Dark Matter
Porridge Radio – Every Bad
Sports Team – Deep Down Happy
Stormzy – Heavy is the Head

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