Michael Kiwanuka wins the Hyundai Mercury Prize 2020

"I'm over the moon. I don't have words to say"

Michael Kiwanuka has won the Hyundai Mercury Prize 2020 for his album ‘KIWANUKA’.

The most coveted prize in British and Irish music was awarded in a live streamed ceremony on the The One Show on BBC 1 tonight (September 24) by Radio 1’s Annie Mac.

He will collect the winner’s trophy and cheque for £25,000.

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Speaking on the show after his victory, Kiwanuka said: “I’m over the moon. I don’t have words to say, I’m so, so excited. Like you said it’s for art, for music. This is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do so to win the Mercury is a dream come true. I’m so, so happy.”

Footage was also shown of him being informed of the award by Mac ahead of the programme: “I don’t know what to say I’m speechless. This is amazing. It’s ridiculous. It’s crazy,” he said.

He beat off competition from the other 11 nominees Sports TeamGeorgiaCharli XCX, Porridge Radio, Dua Lipa, Stormzy, Anna Meredith, Kano, Lanterns On The Lake, Laura Marling and Moses Boyd.

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This year’s judging panel included Anna Calvi, Jorja Smith, Gaz Coombes, Annie Mac and more.

Speaking ahead of the winning album, Mac said: “Normally on the night, usually we are in a room and the judges are trying to figure out who is going to win. This time we had to do it a day early and of course we had to do it on Zoom. So I’ve had to keep it [the winner] a secret for 24 hours.”

Last night (September 23), a number of nominees for this year’s Hyundai Mercury Prize performed special live sessions from London’s Bush Hall venue in a special show broadcast on BBC Four.

Tomorrow (September 25), a special edition of Later… with Jools Holland will air on BBC Two, serving as the first episode of a new series of the iconic show. It will also see the prize winner in conversation with Jools Holland.

Meanwhile, nominees for the 2020 Hyundai Mercury Prize recently saw significant increases in streaming and sales since the shortlist was announced in July.

Moses Boyd received the biggest boost in sales, with his album ‘Dark Matter’ getting a 37.8% increase.

Newcastle post-rockers Lanterns On The Lake also got a 37.1% increase on their sales for their ‘Spook The Herd’ album, while Laura Marling‘s ‘Song For Our Daughter’ was up 33.3%.

You can check all our interviews with the nominated artists here.

Last year, Dave took home the award for his debut album ‘Psychodrama’.

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