PJ Harvey won the Mercury for the second time. Her first win was for 2001’s ‘Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea’.
In her winning speech, the singer said: “It’s also good to be here this evening. When I last won 10 years ago on September 11, 2001 I was watching the Pentagon burning from my hotel window. So much has happened since then.”
On the war-themed album, which Harvey spent years crafting, the singer said she wanted to create “something of meaning, not just for myself but for other people”.
Simon Frith, chairman of the Mercury judging panel, said the album was “an example of an artist having complete conception for an album”.
Backstage of the other nominated albums she quipped: “I’m certainly going to go out and buy some records now because some of them I haven’t heard before.”
The singer added that she hoped to return again in a decade. She said: “I hope to be back here in 10 years’ time with another record.”
The singer added that it was important for her to: “keep making work that is of relevance, not just to myself but to other people.”
The singer thanked the “people that supported (her) throughout (her) career”, including her agent, managers and record company.
The singer said that she was now a fan of Everything Everything after seeing them perform at the ceremony.
“The greater urgency that I felt to write an album like this now is because of what has happened in the last 10 years,” she said.
Fellow nominee Anna Calvi said the constant comparisons to Harvey didn’t annoy her. “Any woman who comes along playing songs and a guitar is going to get compared to PJ Harvey. When a new artist comes along, they will always get referenced to someone – and if it’s rock it’s going to be PJ Harvey,” she said.
PJ Harvey has won the Mercury Prize 2011, for her eighth album ‘Let England Shake’. She beat nominated efforts from Metronomy, Tinie Tempah and Adele to claim the award. Check out the full story. Lauren Laverne arrived earlier in the evening to present the BBC’s coverage.
Corrine Bailey Rae arrives at the Mercury Prize ceremony. She spoke to Lauren Laverne after the show about PJ Harvey’s win.
Elbow celebrated their third Mercury’s nomination for ‘Build A Rocket Boys!’
Adele’s mega-selling ’21’ made the shortlist. However, the chanteuse was too ill to perform at the ceremony. She said: “I really wanted to sing, but I can’t hit any of the high notes.”
Everything Everything were nominated for their debut ‘Man Alive’. The band admitted that they were surprised that Wild Beasts’ ‘Smother’ was left off the shortlist.
Anna Calvi arrives at the 2011 Mercury Prize awards ceremony. Her odds ahead of the evening were 7/1.
Katy B arrives. She was given 20/1 odds from William Hill.
James Blake arrives at the 2011 Mercury Prize ceremony in London.
Ghostpoet clutches the award statue on his way in.
Tinie Tempah rocks the classic red velvet jacket and black shades combo at the Mercury Prize awards.
King Creosote and Jon Hopkins turn up to the ceremony.
This year’s, some might say, WTF candidate Gwilym Simcock.