Richard Hawley ‘real winner’ in Mercury Music Prize race

Well, sales-wise anyway...

The real winner in the race for the 2006 Mercury Music Prize was Richard Hawley, according to retail chain HMV.

Although Arctic Monkeys claimed the honour last night (September 5) for debut LP ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’, nominee Hawley has seen sales of his album ‘Coles Corner’ rise threefold since the nominations were announced in July.

Other acts shortlisted who have seen a considerable rise in sales of their record include including Lou Rhodes (‘Beloved One’), Zoe Rahman (‘Melting Pot’), Editors(‘The Back Room’) and Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan (‘Ballad of the Broken Seas’).

HMV spokesman Gennaro Castaldo said: “The Mercurys have undoubtedly developed into a major showcase for UK and Irish music – celebrating its rich diversity and regularly introducing the esoteric and leftfield to a more mainstream audience. As such, nominated artists stand to gain significantly from the halo effect of being in the Mercury spotlight, which will not only boost sales of their albums, but act as catalyst to further their careers.”

He added: “This year we’re expecting an even bigger sales lift, as more people are now also downloading and buying online.”