The winner of the 2020 Mercury Prize is Michael Kiwanuka

The Mercury Prize, the British equivalent of (and inspiration for) Canada’s Polaris Music Prize, was awarded to Michael Kiwanuka last night for his album, Kinwanuka. (Listen to it here.)

The award goes to the best British album of the last year without any regard for genre or commercial success. It’s supposed to be an award given on the basis of pure artistry. And Kinwanuka is definitely an extremely fine album. He plans to put the £25,000 prize money towards opening a studio.

Here’s who else was nominated:

  • Anna Meredith – Fibs
  • Charli XCX – How I’m Feeling Now
  • Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
  • Georgia – Seeking Thrills
  • Kano – Hoodies All Summer
  • Lanterns On The Lake – Spook The Herd
  • Laura Marling – Song For Our Daughter
  • Moses Boyd – Dark Matter
  • Porridge Radio – Every Bad
  • Sports Team – Deep Down Happy
  • Stormzy – Heavy Is The Head

If some of these names are unfamiliar, that’s the whole point. Events like the Mercury and Polaris bring attention to great albums that might otherwise fall through the cracks.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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