Michael Kiwanuka wins 2020 Hyundai Mercury Prize

24 September 2020, 19:38 | Updated: 24 September 2020, 19:46

Michael Kiwanuka at the BRIT Awards earlier this year
Michael Kiwanuka at the BRIT Awards earlier this year. Picture: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images

The London singer-songwriter has been given the prize for Album Of The Year with his third LP, KIWANUKA.

Michael Kiwanuka has won the 2020 Hyundai Mercury Prize with his third album KIWANUKA.

The singer-songwriter from Muswell Hill beat off competition from the likes of Laura Marling with her Song for Our Daughter album, Georgia with Seeking Thrills, Sports Team with Deep Down Happy and last year's Glasto headliner Stormzy with Heavy Is the Head.

The prize was announced during the BBC's One Show after the usual live event was called off due to the current restrictions over the COVID-19 pandemic.

It's the third time the former session musician has been up for the prize - he was nominated for his debut album, Home Again, in 2012 and for the follow-up, Love & Hate, in 2016.

“I don’t even know what to say - I’m speechless," Michael said after learning he'd won the prize. "Third time’s a charm. It’s blown my mind. I’m over the moon, I'm so excited - this is for art, for music, for albums. This is the only thing I've ever wanted to do so to win a Mercury is a dream come true. I’m so happy. Music and art means so much to me and this is an award that celebrates that so I’m over the moon.”

The judging panel said the album was "Classic yet contemporary, drawing on the history of music while remaining an intensely personal work of self expression, this is an album that will stand the test of time."

See the full list of 2020 Hyundai Mercury Prize Albums of the Year:

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

The Mercury Prize judges this year were: Anna Calvi – Musician & Songwriter; Annie Mac – Broadcaster & DJ; Danielle Perry – Broadcaster & Writer; Gaz Coombes - Musician & Songwriter; Gemma Cairney – Broadcaster & DJ; Jamie Cullum - Musician & Broadcaster; Jeff Smith - Head of Music, 6 Music & Radio 2; Jorja Smith – Musician & Songwriter; Mike Walsh - Music Consultant – Kendal Calling/bluedot Festivals, War Child; Phil Alexander – Creative Director, Kerrang!/Contributing Editor, Mojo; Tshepo Mokoena – Editorial Director, VICE.com; Will Hodgkinson - Chief Rock & Pop Critic, The Times. The Chair of the judging panel is Jeff Smith.

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