Friday 20 September 2019

Stormzy and Jorja Smith join Mercury Prize judging panel

The shortlist for this year’s prize will be announced on Thursday.

Stormzy was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize in 2017 for his debut album (Lesley Martin/PA)
Stormzy was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize in 2017 for his debut album (Lesley Martin/PA)

By Lucy Mapstone, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

Stormzy and Jorja Smith are among the new additions to the Mercury Prize judging panel.

They will be joined by BBC Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac, Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes and’s editorial director Tshepo Mokoena as the newest members of the group that will select the albums of the year and the overall winner.

Grime star Stormzy was previously shortlisted for the Mercury Prize in 2017 for his debut album Gang Signs And Prayer, while R&B singer-songwriter Smith was nominated last year for her debut Lost And Found.

Jorja Smith (Ian West/PA)

Singer-songwriter Coombes’s album Matador was shortlisted for the accolade in 2015, and Supergrass’s debut record I Should Coco was nominated in 1995.

The 2019 shortlist will be announced at a launch event on Thursday, which will be broadcast on BBC Radio 6 Music.

The judging panel, which also includes musician Jamie Cullum and broadcaster and DJ Clara Amfo along with other music journalists and broadcasters, have listened to more than 200 albums to narrow the shortlist for the industry prize down to 12.

The winner of this year’s prize will be announced at the 2019 Hyundai Mercury Prize awards show on September 19 at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, London.

Wolf Alice won the 2018 Hyundai Mercury Music Prize (Ian West/PA)

Last year’s prize saw rockers Wolf Alice scoop the accolade for their album Visions Of A Life, fending off competition from nominees including Lily Allen, Arctic Monkeys and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

Mercury Prize chairman David Wilkinson said: “There were over 200 albums entered for the 2019 Hyundai Mercury Prize – and the judges spend many months listening to these and then meet to decide on the shortlist of 12 albums of the year.

“This has been an exciting year for British and Irish music so it’s going to be tough for them choosing just 12 albums.

“After last year’s successful event, we’re looking forward to an equally diverse and eclectic shortlist being announced by Huw Stephens on 25 July.”

PA Media

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