Michael Kiwanuka wins Mercury Prize for self-titled album
Michael Kiwanuka has won this year’s Mercury Prize with his self-titled third album.
The north London singer-songwriter had been nominated twice previously, but has now been successful on his third attempt to score the prize.
Kiwanuka, 33, beat off competition from Stormzy, Dua Lipa, Charli XCX, Kano and Laura Marling.
He told the BBC: “This year, I thought if there’s any chance, it would be this one. I was resigned to the fact if I didn’t win this year, I would never win. But I never thought I actually would.”
Asked how he would celebrate, the singer said his plans were fairly low-key.
“I will probably just have some pints… socially distanced, of course,” he said. “Maybe I’ll go for a nice meal with my wife, or a long dog walk – he’s very happy I won, of course.”
His latest album, Kiwanuka, peaked at number two in the charts after it received rave reviews when it was released in November last year.
The Mercury Prize is awarded to the best British album of the year and is usually handed out during an event featuring performances from each of the 12 nominees.
The event was markedly different this year due to coronavirus restrictions and instead the winner was announced live on BBC’s The One Show.
This year’s prize was overseen by a panel of judges including Anna Calvi, Annie Mac, Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes, Jamie Cullum, Jorja Smith and Vice.com’s editorial director Tshepo Mokoena.
Kiwanuka was also nominated for two prizes at the Brit Awards – male solo artist and album of the year.
Although his prize-winning album did not reach the top of the charts, his 2016 release Love & Hate was a number one.
Last year’s Mercury Prize winner was rapper Dave for his album Psychodrama.
Among those nominated were Slowthai, The 1975 and Foals.