20 September 2019, 21:00 | Updated: 24 September 2020, 12:36
Past Mercury winners: Portishead, Speech Debelle, Badly Drawn Boy and Dizzee Rascal. Picture: Martyn Goodacre/Dave Hogan/Spiros Politis/Photoshot/Eva Edsjo/Redferns/Getty Images
Some think it’s cursed, some believe it’s among songs most significant awards in the enterprise.
We have a look at the artists that have won through the last few years and if the accolade gave them the career boost that they had.
1992: Primal Scream – Screamadelica
Screamadelica broke the group into the mainstream and they’ve achieved considerable commercial success after all. After touring the record on its twentieth anniversary, they published their eleventh album, Chaosmosis at 2016 and issued a compilation from 2019 known as Maximum Rock’n’Roll: The Singles.
1993: Suede – Suede
Following the success of the debut, the group achieved more significant acclaim with followup Dog Man Star in 1994 however, the death of guitarist Bernard Butler grabbed more focus. Follow-ups Coming Up and Head Music both went to number one but 2002’s A New Morning didn’t do as well and the band broke up. They reformed in 2010 and release their eighth album, The Blue Hour, in 2018.
1994: M-People – Elegant Slumming
The band’s two singles after the Prize both got into the top ten. In 1994 and ’95 the band won the BRIT Award for Best British Dance Act. The band’s next three albums reached the top ten, but their last album was in 1997 and singer Heather Small issued a solo LP in 2000. Despite the lack of new material, M People go on to tour and main man Mike Pickering has pursued a successful A&R career, working with the likes of Calvin Harris.
1995: Portishead – Dummy
Their self-titled follow-up made number two in the chart but 1998’s Roseland NYC live album was not as successful. The band then went on hiatus medially 1999 and 2005 before releasing Third in 2008. They have continued to tour and headlined the Other Stage at Glastonbury in 2013, while also contributing to soundtrack to the film High Rise. In 2016, Portishead were given an Ivor Novello Award for the Outstanding Contribution To British Music.
1996: Pulp – Different Class
Different Class came at the height of Pulp’s success. Lead singer Jarvis Cocker got a lot of attention in 1996 after he infamously invaded the stage during Michael Jackson’s performance. Follow-up albums got into the top ten – except a greatest hits released in 2002 which only got to #71. The band briefly reformed in 2011 for a hugely popular series of shows and released their before all else single in over a decade in January 2013, titled After You.
1997: Roni Size/Reprazent – New Forms
Roni Size continued to release albums after New Forms, including 2000’s In The Mode, and he’s spent the autumn of 2019 touring his DJ set with fellow drum n bass pioneer LTJ Bukem.
1998: Gomez – Bring It On
After winning a Mercury Prize the band went on to win both NME and Q Awards and were nominated for a BRIT. Follow up Liquid Skin is the band’s most successful so far – reaching number two in the charts but their last two offerings have failed to obtain into the Top 40. Most of the band have released solo albums, with singer Ben Ottewell issuing A Man Apart in 2017.
1999: Talvin Singh – OK
2001’s follow up Ha only reached number 57 in the UK album charts, but in 2010, Singh won a UK Asian Music Award for Commitment To Scene. He worked with Madonna on her album Music in 2000 and was awarded an OBE in 2014.
2001: PJ Harvey – Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea
PJ was nominated twice before winning in 2001 and has released four studio albums after all then, with 2016’s The Hope Six Demolition Project topping the UK album charts. She’ll be back in 2011 (see beneath ).
2000: Badly Drawn Boy – The Hour Of Bewilderbeast
The Hour Of Bewilderbeast is considered Damon Gough’s best work, selling around 300,000 copies. Since then he recorded the soundtrack to film About A Boy and his third album Have You Fed the Fish? got mixed reactions. Gough appeared on Celebrity Mastermind in 2015, answering questions on Bruce Springsteen. His latest album is Banana Skin Shoes, released in May 2020.
2002: Ms. Dynamite – A Little Deeper
Judgement Days, the follow up to her Mercury-winning debut only reached number 43 in the charts. After taking a break from music in 2006, she returned in 2011 with a new single, Neva Soft. 2018 saw Ms. Dynamite – whose real name is Niomi McLean-Daley – awarded with an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
2003: Dizzee Rascal – Boy In Da Corner
Dizzee’s follow-up albums Showtime, Maths English and Tongue ‘n Cheek have all been critically acclaimed. His latest album has now gone platinum – selling more than 300,000 copies. He was nominated again for 2011’s Prize, but lost out to The xx. He’s recently been seen in TV ads for the bookmakers Ladbrokes, but a new album, E3 AF, is scheduled for October 2020.
2004: Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
The album got to number 3 when before all else released. Follow up You Could Have it So Much Better came out in October 2005 and was the band’s before all else number 1 album. Their album Tonight: Franz Ferdinand although getting a good response did not obtain the critical acclaim of their debut and only reached number 2 in the UK. Their fifth album, Always Ascending, was released in 2018.
2005: Antony And The Johnsons – I Am A Bird Now
After winning in 2005 I Am A Bird Now went from number 135 to 16 in a week – the biggest jump in the history of the Prize. Follow up album The Crying Light – released in 2009 – only reached number 18 in the UK. The band went on hiatus in 2015 and Antony, now known as Anohni, released an album called HOPELESSNESS in 2016.
2006: Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
The album was already the fastest selling debut album in chart history by the time of the Mercury win. The band’s follow up Favourite Worst Nightmare also charted at number 1. Their latest epic, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, was nominated for the 2018 prize.
2007: Klaxons – Myths Of The Near Future
Myths Of The Near Future charted at number 2 in the charts and in 2007 sold 274,000 copies. The trio released follow up Surfing the Void in August 2010. It’s reported parts of it had to be re-recorded after the band’s label said it was too experimental. It got generally positive reviews but peaked at number 10 in the charts. 2014’s Love Frequency barely scraped into the Top 40 and has been their final release to date.
2008: Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
The Bury band sold 300,000 albums in the two months after their win. The Seldom Seen Kid was the band’s highest charting album to date – getting to number 5 in the UK. Guy Garvey and co covered The Beatles for the 2017 John Lewis TV ad and released their eighth studio album Giants Of All Sizes in 2019.
2009: Speech Debelle – Speech Therapy
Speech Therapy had the worst ever chart showing by a Mercury winner. She left her label Big Dada two months later – blaming them for the poor sales, but returned for her 2011 album Freedom Of Speech. Her long-awaited third album, Tantil Before I Breathe, was released in March 2017.
2010: The xx – XX
After their triumph at the Mercurys, the South London trio went on to be nominated for Best British Album, Best British Breakthrough and Best British Band at the BRIT Awards in 2011. But didn’t acquire something. They returned 2012 using the followup, Coexist and their third record, I See You, was nominated for its 2017 Mercury. In 2020, Romy Madley Croft appeared on Jehnny Beth’s debut solo album To Love Is to Live and declared she had been operating on a solo record.
2011: PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
Polly Jean made history as the before all else individual to win the Mercury TWICE. Contrary to 2001, when she had been grounded by the occasions of 9/11, Peej chose to visit the ceremony that this time around. She had been given an MBE in 2013 and at 2019 published a soundtrack for the drama All About Eve. Harvey has been among the most respected musicians in Britain today.
2012: Alt-J – An Awesome Wave
The unique, experimental quartet from Leeds released their next album This Is All Yours in 2014 and their third party, Relaxer, was nominated for its 2017 Mercury Prize.
2014: James Blake – Overgrown
After being nominated in 2011 because of his debut record, Blake ripped the trophy with his next excursion, despite incredible rivalry from such heavyweights as David Bowie, Arctic Monkeys, Jake Bugg and Foals. His fourth album, Assume Form, premiered in 2019. July 2020 watched the launch of this trail Are You Even Real.
2015: Benjamin Clementine – At Least For Now
The English poet and composer went on to launch I Tell A Fly in 2017, also collaborated with the Gorillaz in their Humanz record, appearing on anti-Trump monitor, Hallelujah Money.
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2016: Skepta – Konnichiwa
The Shut Down celebrity has gone from strength to strength, winning Best British Male at the NME Awards along with an Ivor Novello for Songwriter of the Year in 2017. Besides getting a small style icon, the That’s Not Me rapper has also been awarded the seal of approval from Liam Gallagher himself. And he’s a difficult guy to please. The followup to Konnichiwa has been Ignorance Is Bliss, published in May 2019, while Skepta collaborated with Gorillaz and Tony Allen on the tune How Far? in May 2020.
2017: Sampha – Process
Since winning the Mercury, Sampha Sisay has bagged a co-writing charge on the new Florence And The Machine record, High As Hope. A fellow South Londoner, Sampha collaborated with Flo about the trail Grace, also he’s also looked on the Most Recent record by former Talking Head David Byrne. He also’s also current on Richard Russell’s Everything Is Recorded, that was given a nod at the 2018 Mercurys. He also’s yet to release a follow up to Process, but his most recent collaboration has become the tune Walking Flames with electronica musician Actress.
2018: Wolf Alice – Visions Of A Life
The next record from the London band beat off competition by Arctic Monkeys, Florence The Machine along with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, although the group have affirmed Foo Fighters and Queens Of The Stone Age within the past couple of years.
2019: Dave – Psychodrama
The London rapper – complete name David Orobosa Omoregie – won the 2019 with this deeply personal record about life as a black youth in Britain, such as the way his elder brother’s sentence of life imprisonment has influenced him. The judges called it "the musical equivalent of a literary masterpiece". In the 2020 BRIT Awards, Psychodrama won the Album Of The Year trophy.
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