Skepta beats out David Bowie and Radiohead for 2016 Mercury Prize
This year, the judging panel for the Hyundai Mercury Prize were tasked with a very difficult decision. The British award, which annually honors the album of the year, was to be chosen from a formidable roster of contenders. Nominees included Radiohead‘s A Moon Shaped Pool, The 1975’s I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it, and the late David Bowie‘s final album, Blackstar.
Despite the presumed goliath of Bowie’s posthumous album, British grime artist Skepta emerged as the ceremony’s winner, claiming the award for his album Konnichiwa. Skepta honored Bowie in his acceptance speech, respectfully saying, “Rest in peace, David Bowie. Rest in peace, Amy Winehouse.”
For the first time in the award’s history, fans were able to vote to determine one album which would make the final nominee list; The 1975 won the fan vote. Skepta is the second grime artist to win the Mercury Award, which Dizzee Rascal previously won for 2003’s Boy in da Corner.
Listen to “That’s Not Me,” Konnichiwa‘s lead single, below.