South London musician beats Ed Sheeran, Stormzy and more to take home this year's £25,000 prize
Sampha has beat Ed Sheeran, Stormzy and The xx to win this year’s Mercury Prize.
The Hyundai Mercury Prize Awards Show were held at Eventim Apollo, London this evening (September 14). The award celebrates the best of British and Irish music, honouring the best album released in the past 12 months – as chosen by a panel of experts, tastemakers and fellow musicians.
South London musician Sampha saw off competition from a shortlist that included Alt-J, Blossoms, Dinosaur, Ed Sheeran, Glass Animals, J Hus, Kate Tempest, Loyle Carner, Stormzy, The Big Moon and The xx to pick up the £25,000 prize.
Accepting the award, Sampha said that he felt like he was “dreaming” and went on to thank his parents. “I’d like to dedicate this award to my parents,” he said. “They came over from Sierra Leone and just wanted to give us the best life possible.”
The winner was announced by actor/DJ Idris Elba.
It was the longest deliberation by any panel in Mercury history. New judges on the panel this year included Marcus Mumford from Mumford and Sons, Lianne La Havas, Ella Eyre, and DJ and broadcaster MistaJam. Jamie Cullum and Jessie Ware also featured on the panel alongside broadcaster Clara Amfo and Jeff Smith, Head of Music at BBC 6 Music and Radio 2.
Check out Apple’s playlist of this year’s Mercury Prize nominees below:
See the full list of Mercury nominated albums beneath.
Dinosaur: ‘Together, As One’
Ed Sheeran: ‘Divide’
Glass Animals: ‘How To Be A Human Being’
J Hus: ‘Common Sense’
Kate Tempest: ‘Let Them Eat Chaos’
Loyle Carner: ‘Yesterday’s Gone’
Stormzy: ‘Gang Signs & Prayer’
The Big Moon: ‘Love In The Fourth Dimension’
The xx: ‘I See You’