Michael Kiwanuka has won the 2020 Hyundai Mercury Prize for his third album, Kiwanuka.
In lieu of a full awards ceremony this year, the winner was revealed by Annie Mac on yesterday’s edition of The One Show. Kiwanuka beat fellow nominees including Laura Marling, Stormzy and Moses Boyd to land the trophy.
The judges described Kiwanuka as a “masterpiece”: “Classic yet contemporary, drawing on the history of music while remaining an intensely personal work of self expression, this is an album that will stand the test of time… From its narrative flow to the interludes, from Civil Rights speeches to its panoramic mix of everything from psychedelic rock to piano jazz, Kiwanuka is not only a complete work, but also one that is borne of the courage of its creator to build his own world and invite us in.”
On receiving the news, Kiwanuka said: “This is amazing… I don’t even have any words. This is ridiculous, it’s crazy! I’m so happy. Third time’s a charm. It’s blown my mind. I’m over the moon, I’m so excited – this is for art, for music, for albums. This is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do so to win a Mercury is a dream come true. Music and art means so much to me and this is an award that celebrates that so I’m over the moon.”
Kiwanuka will take part in a special edition of Later… With Jools Holland at 10pm tonight on BBC2.
You can read Uncut’s review of Kiwanuka here.