Mercury Prize Postponed Due to Death of Queen Elizabeth II | The Mercury Prize

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The Mercury Prize ceremony, which was due to take place on Thursday night, has been postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. A new date for the ceremony, which recognizes the best British or Irish album of the year, has not yet been announced.

The evening’s opening stages, held at London’s Eventim Apollo, were already underway when news of the monarch’s death broke.

A notice shown to guests in the room said: “In light of the sad news of the passing of Her Majesty The Queen, we are sorry to announce that we will not be going ahead with this evening’s event as planned. The Mercury Prize will communicate with guests and the public over the coming days. We thank you for your understanding during this difficult and sad time.”

It said dinner would not be served and asked guests to finish their drinks and leave by 10 p.m. 19.30.

Prior to the announcement of the Queen’s death, the traditional red carpet and media interviews that take place before the ceremony had been scrapped, along with plans for the winner’s press conference.

A subsequent statement released to the press said: “Tonight’s Mercury Prize event has been postponed at this time of great national grief. We know that everyone involved with the Mercury Prize will understand. Our thoughts and condolences go out to the Royal Family at this very difficult time. We will make an announcement about future arrangements as soon as we can.”

The electronic screens outside the venue showed a black and white photograph of the Queen.

This year’s Mercury nominees include former One Direction star Harry Styles; Isle of Wight indie duo Wet Leg; Geordie singer-songwriter Sam Fender; Oscar-nominated actor Jessie Buckley, for her collaborative album with former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler; and grime star Kojey Radical.

Of the 12 artists on the list, only London rapper Little Simz is nominated for the second time, for her fourth album, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert; all other nominated acts are debut nominees. (Butler won the award in 1993 as part of Suede.) Four of the nominated albums—those by Wet Leg, Kojey Radical, R&B singer Joy Crookes and post-punk band Yard Act—are debut records.

Apart from Styles and, to a lesser extent, Fender, there are few pop A-listers to be found on this year’s shortlist. The list highlights lesser-known artists such as Scottish jazz pianist Fergus McCreadie, Cornish-language producer Gwenno, punk duo Nova Twins and alt-pop singer Self Esteem, whose nominated album Prioritize Pleasure was named the best of 2021 by the Guardian.

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