Nominees for Mercury Prize Announced

Receiving the Mercury Prize is no small achievement. The prize is awarded to the musicians who produce the best album in the UK and Ireland, and so has a massive bearing on a musician’s status in the industry. Understandably then, there has been a lot of excitement surrounding the release of this year’s nominees for this prestigious award.

Created 1992, the Mercury Prize is an annual music prize that was established by the BPI and BARD (the British Association of Record Dealers). It was originally conceived as an alternative to the BRIT Awards, which dominated the industry, and the prize is generally given to less commercially successful bands with mounds of talent. It is often said that the real prize received in correspondence to a Mercury Prize trophy, is the dramatic increase in album sales that the winner generally enjoys. This is true not only of the winner but also of top nominees. There is, of course, also a sizable monetary prize that accompanies this.

This year’s nominees are quite varied, and both new and old names have made it onto the list. Alex Tuner has made it onto the list for the third time in his music career, this time as a member of The Last Shadow Puppets. Tuner won the award the last time he was nominated as a member of the Arctic Monkeys. Legendary band Radiohead have also been nominated for the fourth time, this time for their album ‘In Rainbows’. 20-year-old music newbie Adele has made the list for the first time, as has hip-hop artist Estelle.

The rest of the shortlist includes British Sea Power (Do You Like Rock Music), Burial (Untrue), Elbow (The Seldom Seen Kid), Laura Marling (Alas, I Cannot Swim), Neon Neon (Stainless Style), Portico Quartet (Knee Deep In The North Sea), Rachel Unthank and the Winterset (The Bairns), and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss (Raising Sand). It is probably worth noting that the already successful singer Duffy and multi-platinum selling band Coldplay were left off the list. The winner of the Mercury Award will be announced later this year on September 9.