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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

Mercury Prize nominees announced

The shortlist for the Mercury Prize, the UK’s most prestigious music award, has been announced. See the full list here

Ed Sheeran has been nominated for this year's Mecury Prize. AFP
Ed Sheeran has been nominated for this year's Mecury Prize. AFP

The shortlist for the Mercury Prize, the UK’s most prestigious music award, has been announced, and it’s a little surprising to see all-conquering man-of-the-moment Ed Sheeran on the list for his album ÷. The award seems to traditionally favour less commercial artists.The album has sold more than two million copies in the UK alone, while lead single Shape of You has been streamed more than a billion times on Spotify.

Sheeran lines up alongside 11 other nominees for the prize, with the winner due to be announced on September 14. Among Sheeran’s competition for the prize is the politically charged grime artist Stormzy, Mancunian indie outfit Blossoms and contemporary soul singer Sampha, who is being hotly tipped in some circles for his album Process.

Previous winners to have received repeat nominations this year include arty pop-rockers Alt-J who won the prize in 2012 with their debut An Awesome Wave. They’re given a second nod for this year’s Relaxer. The xx are also in the running for a second time for their latest album I See You – band member Jamie xx was also nominated last year for his solo album In Colour, while the band previously won the award for 2010’s self-titled debut. Either of these could potentially go on to join PJ Harvey as the only outfit to win the prize twice.

The Mercury Prize’s judging panel, who will decide the ultimate winners, consists of 12 experts including musicians, broadcasters and critics and this year features famous names including Mumford and Sons’ Marcus Mumford and singer songwriter Jamie Cullum.

The nominees in full:

Alt-J: Relaxer

The Big Moon: Love in the 4th Dimension

Blossoms: Blossoms

Loyle Carner: Yesterday’s Gone

Dinosaur: Together, As One

Glass Animals: How to Be a Human Being

J Hus: Common Sense

Sampha: Process

Ed Sheeran: ÷

Stormzy: Gang Signs & Prayer

Kate Tempest: Let Them Eat Chaos

The xx: I See You