Stormzy, Sports Team, Porridge Radio and Laura Marling are among the artists nominated for this year’s Hyundai Mercury Prize awards.
The Mercury Prize honours the best album released in the UK by a British or Irish artist. Previous winners include Primal Scream, Pulp and Wolf Alice.
For the first time in its history, female artists and female-fronted bands have outnumbered men on the Mercury Prize shortlist.
The judging panel of musicians, journalists, industry figures and radio presenters features two new names this year, in three-time nominee Anna Calvi and DJ Gemma Cairney. Other famous faces include soul and R&B singer Jorja Smith, Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombe, and jazz singer Jamie Cullum.
The judges said: ‘In these difficult and uncertain times the Hyundai Mercury Prize is proud to celebrate the remarkable power of music to inspire and exhilarate.
‘The albums on the 2020 shortlist showcase a great diversity of sounds, styles, ambitions and experience.What these albums share is an irresistible urgency, a belief that their music matters more than ever.’
Geoff Taylor, chief executive at record labels association, the BPI, said: ‘Extraordinary music for extraordinary times. The Mercury Prize is back, reminding us that the creative brilliance of our artists is a constant, even when the world is turned upside down. We believe it’s all the more important this year for the Mercury Prize to shine a spotlight on 12 exceptional Albums of the Year, spanning an eclectic gamut of genres and uniting the biggest names in music with the most exciting new talent. These records tell stories, dig deep into the personal experiences of their creators and represent the best in contemporary music. We congratulate all the shortlisted artists and thank our expert judges and our partners, Hyundai and YouTube Music, for supporting this year’s Prize.’
Mercury prize nominees 2020 are as follows:
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
Michael Kiwanuka – Kiwanuka
Moses Boyd – Dark Matter
Porridge Radio – Every Bad
Sports Team – Deep Down Happy
Stormzy – Heavy is the Head
As all events are currently subject to Government guidelines, it is likely that a live awards show will not be happening in September as planned. However, the overall winner of the 2020 Hyundai Mercury Prize will be announced on 24 September 2020.