The late musician's album topped charts on both sides of the Atlantic days after his death
David Bowie’s final album Blackstar has put the late musician in the running to claim the UK’s most prestigious music award, the Mercury Prize. The album, released just two days before Bowie lost his battle to cancer, has been shortlisted with 11 others for the award, now in its 24th year.
Blackstar marks Bowie’s third nomination for the Mercury Prize, having been previously nominated for 2013’s The Next Day and Heathen in 2002, losing out both times.
Four of the twelve albums come from female performers, including one former winner. Anohni claimed the title in 2005 when performing as part of Antony and the Johnsons, but her debut collection Hopelessness sees her battle it out again. She is joined by Laura Mvula, whose second album The Dreaming Room bagged her second nomination after Sing to the Moon lost out in 2013.
2016’s shortlist is notably filled with more commercial hits that last year, when only one album (Florence + the Machine’s How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful) had reached the top of the charts. Four albums this year, including Bowie’s Blackstar, reached number one, while seven of them charted in the top 10.
The shortlisted albums will now be whittled down to six finalists, with the Mercury Prize organisers inviting the public to vote for their favourite. The remaining five of the six finalists will be selected by the judging panel, which includes musicians Kate Tempest, Jamie Cullum, Jarvis Cocker, Jessie Ware, and Irish broadcaster Annie Mac.
The winner of the Mercury Prize 2016 will be announced live at the awards show on September 15th, which will be broadcast on BBC Four and BBC Radio 6 Music. The full shortlist reads as follows: