Michael Kiwanuka Wins the Hyundai Mercury Prize 2020
Michael Kiwanuka was announced tonight [Thursday, September 24], as the overall winner of the 2020 Hyundai Mercury Prize for Album of the Year in the UK for his album, Kiwanuka. Radio 1's Annie Mac revealed the winner live on The One Show on BBC One.
The judging panel said: "Kiwanuka by Michael Kiwanuka is the well deserved winner of the 2020 Hyundai Mercury Prize 2020 for Album of the Year. 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. Songs such as Hero and You Ain't The Problem deal with hot button topics like race and identity, but in a reflective way that draws the listener in. From its narrative flow to the interludes, from Civil Rights speeches to its panoramic mix of everything from psychedelic rock to piano jazz, Kiwanuka is not only a complete work, but also one that is borne of the courage of its creator to build his own world and invite us in. Warm, rich, hugely accomplished and belonging to no one genre but its own, Kiwanuka is a masterpiece."
Kiwanuka said: "I don't even know what to say - I'm speechless. This is amazing... I don't even have any words. This is ridiculous, it's crazy! I'm so happy. 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."
All 12 shortlisted artists were celebrated in a Hyundai Mercury Prize 2020 'Album of the Year' special programme broadcast on BBC Four in the UK last night. The programme, voiced by BBC Radio 6 Music presenter Lauren Laverne, included specially filmed and socially distanced performances by Anna Meredith, Georgia, Lanterns on the Lake, Laura Marling, Moses Boyd, Porridge Radio and Sports Team (all filmed in independent venues in Brighton, Gateshead and London), a unique performance from Charli XCX from LA as well as performance footage from Dua Lipa, Kano, Michael Kiwanuka and Stormzy.
The Hyundai Mercury Prize 2020: Album of the Year programme and Later... with Jools Holland: Mercury Prize 2020 is available to watch on BBC iPlayer in the UK here, along with some of the tracks performed by this year's shortlisted artists. The BBC Sounds app can be downloaded to catch all the 6 Music coverage live and on demand.
The Hyundai Mercury Prize 'Albums of the Year' celebrate and promote the best of UK music, recognising artistic achievement across an eclectic range of contemporary music genres.
Hyundai Motor, the Mercury Prize's title partner, will be celebrating the shortlisted artists and continuing to support innovations in British music.
The Prize's digital music partner, YouTube Music, will be promoting the Prize from the shortlist announcement onwards. YouTube Music will also host the official Prize playlist featuring the 12 shortlisted artists and albums and support the Prize's first ever international live stream.
The 2020 shortlisted artists are:
Anna Meredith 'FIBS'
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