Where are the Mercury Prize winners now?

20 September 2019, 21:00 | Updated: 20 September 2019, 21:01

Gomez at the Double Door in Chicago, Illinois, April 4, 1999
Gomez at the Double Door in Chicago, Illinois, April 4, 1999. Picture: Paul Natkin/Getty Images

Some believe it's cursed, some think it's one of music most important awards in the business.

We take a look at the artists who have won over the years and whether the accolade gave them the career boost they needed.

  1. 1992: Primal Scream - Screamadelica

    Primal Scream - Screamadelica album cover
    Primal Scream - Screamadelica album cover. Picture: Press

    Screamadelica broke the band into the mainstream and they have achieved considerable commercial success since. After touring the album on its twentieth anniversary, they released their eleventh album, Chaosmosis in 2016 and issued a compilation in 2019 called Maximum Rock'n'Roll : The Singles.

  2. 1993: Suede - Suede

    Suede - Suede album cover
    Suede - Suede album cover. Picture: Press

    Following the success of their debut, the band achieved more critical acclaim with follow-up Dog Man Star in 1994 but the departure of guitarist Bernard Butler grabbed more attention. Follow-ups Coming Up and Head Music both went to number one but 2002's A New Morning didn’t do as well and the band broke up. They reformed in 2010 and release their eighth album, The Blue Hour, in 2018.

  3. 1994: M-People - Elegant Slumming

    M-People - Elegant Slumming album cover
    M-People - Elegant Slumming album cover. Picture: Press

    The band's two singles after the Prize both got into the top ten. In 1994 and '95 the band won the BRIT Award for Best British Dance Act. The band’s next three albums reached the top ten, but their last album was in 1997 and singer Heather Small issued a solo LP in 2000. Despite the lack of new material, M People continue to tour and main man Mike Pickering has pursued a successful A&R career, working with Kasabian and Calvin Harris.

  4. 1995: Portishead - Dummy

    Portishead - Dummy album cover
    Portishead - Dummy album cover. Picture: Press

    Their self-titled follow-up made number two in the chart but 1998’s Roseland NYC live album was not as successful. The band then went on hiatus between 1999 and 2005 before releasing Third in 2008. They have continued to tour and headlined the Other Stage at Glastonbury in 2013, while also contributing to soundtrack to the film High Rise.

  5. 1996: Pulp - Different Class

    Pulp - Different Class album cover
    Pulp - Different Class album cover. Picture: Press

    Different Class came at the height of Pulp’s success. Lead singer Jarvis Cocker got a lot of attention in 1996 after he infamously invaded the stage during Michael Jackson’s performance. Follow-up albums got into the top ten – except a greatest hits released in 2002 which only got to #71. The band briefly reformed in 2011 for a hugely popular series of shows and released their first single in over a decade in January 2013, titled After You.

  6. 1997: Roni Size/Reprazent - New Forms

    Roni Size/Reprazent - New Forms album cover
    Roni Size/Reprazent - New Forms album cover. Picture: Press

    Roni Size continued to release albums after New Forms, including 2000’s In The Mode, and he’s spent the autumn of 2019 touring his DJ set with fellow drum n bass pioneer LTJ Bukem.

  7. 1998: Gomez - Bring It On

    Gomez - Bring It On album cover
    Gomez - Bring It On album cover. Picture: Press

    After winning a Mercury Prize the band went on to win both NME and Q Awards and were nominated for a BRIT. Follow up Liquid Skin is the band’s most successful so far – reaching number two in the charts but their last two offerings have failed to get into the Top 40. Most of the band have released solo albums, with singer Ben Ottewell issuing A Man Apart in 2017.

  8. 1999: Talvin Singh - OK

    Talvin Singh - OK album cover
    Talvin Singh - OK album cover. Picture: Press

    2001’s follow up Ha only reached number 57 in the UK album charts, but in 2010, Singh won a UK Asian Music Award for Commitment To Scene. He worked with Madonna on her album Music in 2000 and was awarded an OBE in 2014.

  9. 2001: PJ Harvey - Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea

    PJ Harvey - Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea album cover
    PJ Harvey - Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea album cover. Picture: Press

    PJ was nominated twice before winning in 2001 and has released four studio albums since then, with 2016’s The Hope Six Demolition Project topping the UK album charts. She’ll be back in 2011 (see below).

  10. 2000: Badly Drawn Boy - The Hour Of Bewilderbeast

    Badly Drawn Boy - The Hour Of Bewilderbeast album cover
    Badly Drawn Boy - The Hour Of Bewilderbeast album cover. Picture: Press

    The Hour Of Bewilderbeast is considered Damon Gough’s best work, selling around 300,000 copies. Since then he recorded the soundtrack to film About A Boy and his third album Have You Fed the Fish? got mixed reactions. His latest albums have been It's What I'm Thinking Pt 1 - Photographing Snowflakes in 2010 and another soundtrack, Being Flynn, in 2012. Gough appeared on Celebrity Mastermind in 2015, answering questions on Bruce Springsteen.

  11. 2002: Ms. Dynamite - A Little Deeper

    Ms. Dynamite - A Little Deeper album cover
    Ms. Dynamite - A Little Deeper album cover. Picture: Press

    Judgement Days, the follow up to her Mercury-winning debut only reached number 43 in the charts. After taking a break from music in 2006, she returned in 2011 with a new single, Neva Soft. 2018 saw Ms. Dynamite - whose real name is Niomi McLean-Daley - awarded with a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

  12. 2003: Dizzee Rascal - Boy In Da Corner

    Dizzee Rascal - Boy In Da Corner album cover
    Dizzee Rascal - Boy In Da Corner album cover. Picture: Press

    Dizzee’s follow-up albums Showtime, Maths + English and Tongue 'n Cheek have all been critically acclaimed. His latest album has now gone platinum – selling more than 300,000 copies. He was nominated again for 2011's Prize, but lost out to The xx. His sixth album Raskit was released in 2017. He's recently been seen in TV ads for the bookmakers Ladbrokes.

  13. 2004: Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand

    Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand album cover
    Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand album cover. Picture: Press

    The album got to number 3 when first released. Follow up You Could Have it So Much Better came out in October 2005 and was the band’s first number 1 album. Their album Tonight: Franz Ferdinand although getting a good response did not get the critical acclaim of their debut and only reached number 2 in the UK. Their fifth album, Always Ascending, was released in 2018.

  14. 2005: Antony And The Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now

    Antony And The Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now album cover
    Antony And The Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now album cover. Picture: Press

    After winning in 2005 I Am A Bird Now went from number 135 to 16 in a week – the biggest jump in the history of the Prize. Follow up album The Crying Light – released in 2009 – only reached number 18 in the UK. The band went on hiatus in 2015 and Antony, now known as Anohni, released an album called HOPELESSNESS in 2016.

  15. 2006: Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not

    Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not album cover
    Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not album cover. Picture: Press

    The album was already the fastest selling debut album in chart history by the time of the Mercury win. The band’s follow up Favourite Worst Nightmare also charted at number 1. Their latest epic, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, was nominated for the 2018 prize.

  16. 2007: Klaxons - Myths Of The Near Future

    Klaxons - Myths Of The Near Future album cover
    Klaxons - Myths Of The Near Future album cover. Picture: Press

    Myths Of The Near Future charted at number 2 in the charts and in 2007 sold 274,000 copies. The trio released follow up Surfing the Void in August 2010. It’s reported parts of it had to be re-recorded after the band’s label said it was too experimental. It got generally positive reviews but peaked at number 10 in the charts. 2014's Love Frequency barely scraped into the Top 40 and has been their final release to date.

  17. 2008: Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid

    Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid album cover
    Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid album cover. Picture: Press

    The Bury band sold 300,000 albums in the two months after their win. The Seldom Seen Kid was the band’s highest charting album to date – getting to number 5 in the UK. Guy Garvey and co covered The Beatles for the 2017 John Lewis TV ad and release their eighth studio album Giants Of All Sizes in 2019.

  18. 2009: Speech Debelle - Speech Therapy

    Speech Debelle - Speech Therapy album cover
    Speech Debelle - Speech Therapy album cover. Picture: Press

    Speech Therapy had the worst ever chart showing by a Mercury winner. She left her label Big Dada two months later – blaming them for the poor sales, but returned for her 2011 album Freedom Of Speech. Her long-awaited third album, Tantil Before I Breathe, was released in March 2017.

  19. 2010: The xx - XX

    The xx - XX album cover
    The xx - XX album cover. Picture: Press

    After their triumph at the Mercurys, the South London trio went on to be nominated for Best British Album, Best British Breakthrough and Best British Band at the BRIT Awards in 2011... but didn't win a thing. They returned in 2012 with the follow-up, Coexist and their third album, I See You, was nominated for the 2017 Mercury.

  20. 2011: PJ Harvey - Let England Shake

    PJ Harvey - Let England Shake album cover
    PJ Harvey - Let England Shake album cover. Picture: Press

    Polly Jean made history as the first person to win the Mercury TWICE. Unlike 2001, when she was grounded by the events of 9/11, Peej got to go to the ceremony this time around. She was awarded an MBE in 2013 and in 2019 released a soundtrack for the play All About Eve. Harvey continues to be one of the most respected musicians in Britain today.

  21. 2012: Alt-J - An Awesome Wave

    Alt-J - An Awesome Wave album cover
    Alt-J - An Awesome Wave album cover. Picture: Press

    The quirky, experimental quartet from Leeds released their second album This Is All Yours in 2014 and their third, Relaxer, was nominated for the 2017 Mercury Prize.

  22. 2014: James Blake - Overgrown

    James Blake - Overgrown album cover
    James Blake - Overgrown album cover. Picture: Press

    After being nominated in 2011 for his debut album, Blake bagged the prize with his second outing, despite incredible competition from such heavyweights as David Bowie, Arctic Monkeys, Jake Bugg and Foals. His fourth album, Assume Form, was released in 2019.

  23. 2015: Benjamin Clementine - At Least For Now

    Benjamin Clementine - At Least For Now album cover
    Benjamin Clementine - At Least For Now album cover. Picture: Press

    The English poet and composer went on to release I Tell A Fly in 2017, and collaborated with the Gorillaz on their Humanz album, appearing on anti-Trump track, Hallelujah Money.

  24. 2016: Skepta - Konnichiwa

    Skepta - Konnichiwa album cover
    Skepta - Konnichiwa album cover. Picture: Press

    The Shut Down star has gone from strength to strength, winning Best British Male at the NME Awards and an Ivor Novello for Songwriter of the Year in 2017. Other than becoming a bit of a fashion icon, the That's Not Me rapper has also got been given the seal of approval by Liam Gallagher himself. And he's a tough man to please.... The follow-up to Konnichiwa was Ignorance Is Bliss, released in May 2019,

  25. 2017: Sampha - Process

    Sampha - Process album cover
    Sampha - Process album cover. Picture: Press

    Since winning the Mercury, Sampha Sisay has bagged a co-writing credit on the new Florence And The Machine album, High As Hope. A fellow South Londoner, Sampha collaborated with Flo on the track Grace, and he’s also appeared on the latest album by former Talking Head David Byrne. He’s also present on Richard Russell’s Everything Is Recorded, which has been given a nod in the 2018 Mercurys. He’s yet to release a follow-up to Process.

  26. 2018: Wolf Alice - Visions Of A Life

    Wolf Alice - Visions Of A Life
    Wolf Alice - Visions Of A Life. Picture: Press

    The second album by the London band beat off competition from Arctic Monkeys, Florence + The Machine and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, while the band have supported Foo Fighters and Queens Of The Stone Age over the past couple of years.