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PJ Harvey claims the Mercury prize for the second time, for her eighth album Let England Shake


The winner was announced this evening (September 6) at a ceremony at the Grosvenor Hotel in London. This was the first time in the competition’s history that every one of the nominated artists was scheduled to perform at the ceremony itself, although Adele had to pull out due to illness.

Harvey accepted the award and £20,000 cash prize with a straightforward, composed speech.

“First of all I’d like to say thank you very much for this award, and the recognition of my work on this album,” she said.

Harvey, the award’s first two-time winner, also made reference to her previous win, which famously took place on September 11, 2001, an event of course overshadowed by the terrorist attacks in New York.

It’s nice to actually be here. I was in in Washington DC watching The Pentagon burning from my hotel window, so it’s good to be here. So much has happened since then. This album took me a long time write. It was very important to me, I wanted to make something that was meaningful not just for myself but for other people, hopefully to make something that would last.

Harvey went on to thank “the people that have supported her throughout her career,” her manager, her record company Island, agents and “those who helped me make ‘Let England Shake'”.

The ceremony was broadcast on BBC Two and was hosted by Jools Holland.

The Barclaycard Mercury Prize was won in 2010 by The xx for their self-titled debut album.

The full list of nominees is:

Anna Calvi – ‘Anna Calvi’
Elbow – ‘Build A Rocket Boys!’
James Blake – ‘James Blake’
Katy B – ‘On A Mission’
Metronomy – ‘The English Riviera’
Tinie Tempah – ‘Disc-Overy’
PJ Harvey – ‘Let England Shake’
Gwilym Simcock – ‘Good Days At Schloss Elmau’
Everything Everything – ‘Man Alive’
Ghostpoet – ‘Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam’
King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – ‘Diamond Mine’
Adele – ’21’