'Konnichiwa' beat David Bowie's 'Blackstar' and Radiohead's 'A Moon-Shaped Pool'
Congratulations to Joseph Junior Adenuga, better known as Skepta, whose album Konnichiwa last night became the first grime album to win the Mercury Prize since Dizzee Rascal's Boy In Da Corner in 2003.
The bookies' favourite had been David Bowie's posthumous album Blackstar, while also strongly tipped for the prize were Radiohead's A Moon Shaped Pool and Michael Kiwanuka's Love & Hate. Interestingly, Skepta wasn't the only grime artist among this year's nominations, with Kano's Made In The Manor also making the shortlist - a clear indication of the grime scene's recent resurgence.
This year's judges included Jarvis Cocker, Jessie Ware, Naughty Boy and Jamie Cullum. Cocker said: "We, as a jury, decided that if David Bowie was looking down on the Hammersmith Apollo tonight... he would want the 2016 Hyundai Mercury Prize to go to Skepta."
Accepting the award, Skepta said: "I'm just so thankful. I've been trying to do this music stuff and work it out for so long... we've travelled the world, no record label, nothing. We just did this for us, but the love is very appreciated."
Backstage, he went on to tell BBC reporters that he would use the prize money to do "something positive, something to help other people feel as happy and as free as me. We're doing a project right now, actually, building a studio in my old estate to help the young kids do music."
Skepta pic: Batiste Safont/Creative Commons