We know the 12 nominations for the Mercury Prize 2020, and on the list there are some quite big names. The annual music prize awarded for the best album released in the United Kingdom by a British or Irish musician will be announced on September 24th.
The prize was established in 1992 as an alternative to the Brit Awards, and became increasingly popular over the decades. Since its inception, PJ Harvey is the only twice winner of the prize, while Radiohead has the most nominations – five.
For an album of a band to be eligible for the prize, over 50% of its members have to be British or Irish. Being shortlisted or even wining the prize gives the bands a significant boost in albums sales.
The prize is so popular that you can ever bet on it at the best betting sites. For example, at Unibet, Michael Kiwanuka is the favorite, with +200 odds. Laura Marling and Stormzy come second, each with +450.
But here are the top 5 favorites at winning the Mercury Prize 2020.
Michael Kiwanuka (+200)
Kiwanuka is the name of the album selected from the London-born artist. This is the third nomination for the 33-year old, who now has the best odds at winning the prize.
Michael Kiwanuka is the third artist to receive a Mercury nomination for each of the first three albums. The previous ones were released in 2012 and 2016. His indie and folk rock album was released in November 2019, peaked at number 2 in the UK charts, and has an impressive 89/100 score on Metacritic.
Laura Marling (+450)
Laura Marling is at her fourth nomination, after those in 2008, 2010 and 2013. “Songs for Our Daughter” is the name of this year’s album, being released this April.
The 30-year old singer and songwriter from Berkshire has an impressive career started at just 16. This is her seventh album, and it was inspired by Maya Angelou’s book, called “Letter to My Daughter”.
The folk rock artist also won the Brit Awards in 2011, for the Best British Female Solo Artist.
With the same odds as Laura Marling, Stormzy comes with a different style. His album, “Heavy Is the Hand” is a mix of British hip hop, soul, and grime genres.
The 27-year old Michael Ebenezer Kwadjo Omari Owuo Jr, his entire name, has already established himself as a big name in the British music industry, having won twice the Brit Award for the Male Solo Artist (2018 and 2020), and the Album of the Year (2018). Stormzy also performed at the Glastonbury Festival in 2019.
His current album, with which he is competing at the Mercury Prize 2020, reached the first place in the UK charts.
Like Stormzy, rapper Kano hopes to replicate the success of last year’s winner, Dave. Born in East Ham, London, the 35-year old hip hop singer released his sixth album, “Hoddies All Summer”, last August.
The album peaked at number 8 in the UK charts, and includes several guest appearances.
Charlie XCX (+800)
The Cambridge-born singer released her fourth studio album in May, being wrote and recorded in just six weeks. “How I’m Feeling Now” promotes electro pop and experimental pop, and has a review of 82/100 on Metacritic.
Charlie XCX, or Charlotte Emma Aitchison, began posting songs on Myspace in 2008, but her career started in 2010, at 18 years old, when she signed a recording contract with Asylum Records.
The singer was nominated for the best British Female Solo Artist, at the 2020 Brit Awards, and her 2014 song “Fancy” with Iggy Azalea was her highest critical and commercial success.