Mercury Prize Winners – Where Are They Now?
The Mercury Prize ‘2015 was awarded on November 20 in London, the annual music award for the best album in the UK and Ireland. This year, its owner was the British-French artist Benjamin Clementine with the album “At Least for Now”.
Up until the ceremony of presenting the mood in the bookmakers did not cease: people made bets, wondered, the situation was heating up … But can we now remember the winner of the 2014 award? And the winner of 2013? What happens to those musicians who have been awarded all previous years? Some of them – for example, Arctic Monkeys, Suede, PJ Harvey – have paved their way to fame. Others disappeared without a trace. Let’s recall each of the Mercury Prize winners and their fate after receiving the award.
2014: Young Fathers. With their antagonistic hip-hop music, the band cannot claim success with the general public. However, over the past year, Young Fathers have advanced musically and have recorded the outstanding album White Men Are Black Men Too. But the British singer and songwriter Gareth Gates Young Fathers still did not like: according to him, their music offends him.
2013: James Blake. Two years after the first James Blake nomination with his self-titled debut album on “Mercury Prize”, the musician still received the award, but with his second disc “Overgrown”. After that, Blake moved to rapper Chance The Rapper and announced the recording of his third album “Radio Silence”, which will feature joint tracks with Bon Iver and Kanye West.
2012: Alt-J. Despite the “Mercury Prize”, Alt-J’s debut album “An Awesome Wave” never made it to the TOP-10 releases in the UK and TOP-50 in the US. But this does not prevent the group from having a multi-million army of fans, in addition, their second album “This Is All Yours”, even despite the sudden departure of the bassist, took first place in the UK charts and became the fourth in the US ratings.
2011: PJ Harvey. Everyone is familiar with her. Ten years after winning the Mercury Prize, PJ Harvey managed to do it again with his album Let England Shake. After the victory, album sales increased by 1100%, but the singer is unlikely to pay attention to this, remaining one of the most significant and respected figures among the outstanding artists.
2010: The xx. The first fruits of The xx were taken quite sluggishly by the public. But thanks to the Mercury Prize and the fact that the band’s songs were used in some well-known television programs, the band’s debut album was a sensational success: the album received gold status in America and platinum in the UK. The xx’s second album, “Coexist,” was released in 2012, and spent most of 2014 in Texas, working on a third release, which has not yet been released: the process may have been slowed down by Jamie xx releasing his own album.
2009: Speech Debelle. In 2009, the still little-known rapper Speech Debelle received the “Mercury Prize” for her debut album, leaving Florence & the Machine and The Horrors behind. Nevertheless, even the possession of the prize did not bring the performer fame: the album “Speech Therapy” sold 15,000 copies. For the last time, Speech Debelle was featured on the Celebrity Masterchef TV show.
2008: Elbow. At the time of receiving the “Mercury Prize” for the album “The Seldom Seen Kid”, Elbow was together for 18 years, but did not achieve much success. The award has changed everything, since then you can hear rave reviews from critics about the last two Elbow albums, and in 2012 the group performed at the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games. By the way, the lead singer of the group Guy Garvey this year released his debut album “Courting The Squall”.
2007: Klaxons. In 2007, the group was one of the representatives of the new rave, their demo records caused a wave of enthusiasm among critics, and the songs were constantly heard on the dance floors, which made Klaxons one of the favorites of NME. With the long-awaited album “Myths Of the Near Future”, the group received a “Mercury Prize”. Klaxons’ second album, “Surfing The Void”, was less successful, as was the 2014 album, “Love Frequency.”
2006: Arctic Monkeys. Alex Turner and company won the hearts of the public with “Whatever You Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not Not”, which became the fastest-selling album in the UK ever. Since then, the group has already managed to be the headliner of Glastonbury twice and release four more albums, all of which received praise from critics. The latest album, AM, was one of the fastest-selling albums of 2013.
2005: Antony & The Johnsons. Surprisingly, their sophisticated and beautiful album received “Mercury Prize”, given that more commercially oriented music is usually awarded: Bloc Party, Coldplay, Kaiser Chiefs, Maximo Park. And for the past ten years, Antony & The Johnsons have been giving us magical music, recently, by the way, by participating in the creation of the soundtrack to the movie “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”