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Skepta beats David Bowie to win Mercury Prize 2016

Ellie Walker-Arnott

Skepta has been named the winner of the Mercury Prize 2016, beating bookies favourite David Bowie, who would have become the first posthumous winner of the prize had his album 'Blackstar' won. 

The grime artist from north London won the award, and the £25,000 prize money, for his fourth studio album 'Konnichiwa' last night at London's Hammersmith Apollo

The album, which was released in May, was described as 'confident, funny, clever, scary, personal and political.' 

'The star is the person on the mic who always gets seen but I want to say thank you to very single person who made "Konnichiwa" happen,' said Skepta after his win. 

Jamie Cullum, Jarvis Cocker, Clara Amfo, Annie Mac and Jessie Ware were amongst those who made up the 2016 judging panel. Cocker said that the panel decided that 'if Bowie was looking down' he would have wanted Skepta to win. 

Bowie's 'Blackstar' was released in January on the star's 69th birthday, just two days before he died of cancer. Radiohead, Laura Mvula, Bat For Lashes, The 1975, Jamie Woon, Kano, Michael Kiwanuka, Savages, The Comet Is Coming and Anohni were also up for album of the year. 

Find out more about this year's Mercury Prize shortlist 

Read our exclusive interview with Skepta: ‘I’m not a rapper, I’m an activist’


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