By Marie-Louise Gumuchian
LONDON (Reuters) – Rapper Little Simz won the Mercury Prize for her fourth studio album “Sometimes I Might Be Introvert” on Tuesday, triumphing over contenders including Harry Styles and indie rock duo Wet Leg for the British music award.
The 28-year-old, previously nominated in 2019 for album “Grey Area”, was among favourites to scoop the award for her critically-acclaimed record.
She beat 11 other contenders for the prize, among a list of people she mentioned in her acceptance speech.
“We all made incredible albums, we all changed people’s lives with our music and that’s the most important thing, so this is for us really,” Little Simz said.
In an interview with The Guardian newspaper last year, the British Nigerian said of the album: “It’s me being this introverted person that has all these crazy thoughts and ideas and theories in my head and not always feeling like I’m able to express it if it’s not through my art.”
Like other nominees, Little Simz took to the stage at Tuesday’s ceremony, originally due to be held last month but postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth.
First handed out to rockers Primal Scream in 1992, the annual 25,000 pounds ($28,307) prize shortlists 12 albums released by British and Irish acts in the United Kingdom in the past year.
This year’s nominees included Scottish jazz pianist Fergus McCreadie for “Forest Floor”, Welsh singer Gwenno’s “Tresor” which is almost fully sung in Cornish and former One Direction member Harry Styles for his chart-topping album “Harry’s House”.
Oscar nominated actress Jessie Buckley and former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler were nominated for their critically-acclaimed collaboration “For All Our Days That Tear The Heart”, as were singer Joy Crookes for her debut album “Skin” and rapper Kojey Radical for his debut album “Reason to Smile”.
“Supernova” by rock duo Nova Twins, musician Self Esteem’s “Prioritise Pleasure”, singer-songwriter Sam Fender’s chart-topping “Seventeen Going Under”, Wet Leg’s hit self-titled debut album and post-punk Yard Act’s debut album “The Overload” completed the list.
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(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by David Gregorio)