Mercury prize postponed owing to death of Queen Elizabeth II

The ceremony, which recognises the best British or Irish album of the year, will be held at a later date

The Mercury prize ceremony, which was due to take place on Thursday night, has been postponed after the death of Queen Elizabeth II. A new date for the ceremony, which recognises the best British or Irish album of the year, has yet to be announced.

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

An announcement 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 proceeding with this evening’s event as planned. The Mercury prize will be communicating with guests and audience members over the coming days. We thank you for your understanding at this difficult and sad time.”

It said dinner would not be served, and asked guests to finish their drinks and leave the venue by 7.30pm.

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 sorrow. We know everyone involved in the Mercury prize will understand. Our thoughts and condolences are with the royal family at this very difficult time. We will make an announcement regarding future arrangements as soon as we are able.”

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

This year’s Mercury nominees include the former One Direction star Harry Styles; chart-topping 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 a second-time nominee, for her fourth album, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert; all other acts nominated are debut nominees. (Butler won the prize in 1993 as part of Suede.) Four of the albums nominated – those by Wet Leg, Kojey Radical, R&B singer Joy Crookes and post-punk band Yard Act – are debut records.

Aside 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 Prioritise Pleasure was named by the Guardian as the best of 2021.

Contributor

Laura Snapes

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Mercury prize 2021: first-time nominees dominate shortlist
No 1 albums by Wolf Alice, Mogwai and Celeste are joined by leftfield artists such as Hannah Peel and Nubya Garcia in race for prestigious music award

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

22, Jul, 2021 @10:16 AM

Article image
Mercury prize 2019: rapper Dave wins for 'exceptional' Psychodrama
The south London artist wins the £25,000 prize for an album the Guardian hailed as ‘fearless and incisive’

Laura Snapes

19, Sep, 2019 @9:22 PM

Article image
Michael Kiwanuka wins 2020 Mercury prize
Folk-soul singer wins £25,000 prize on third attempt for the album Kiwanuka, described by the Guardian as one of the best albums of the past decade

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

24, Sep, 2020 @6:36 PM

Article image
Every Mercury prize-winning album – ranked!
Following the announcement of this year’s nominees, we run the rule over the 26 albums that have earned the crown, from Klaxons and James Blake to M People and Talvin Singh

Dave Simpson

26, Jul, 2018 @10:45 AM

Article image
Mercury prize 2021: Arlo Parks wins for Collapsed in Sunbeams
21-year-old singer-songwriter adds to Brit award win earlier in the year

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

09, Sep, 2021 @9:13 PM

Article image
Mercury prize 2020: Stormzy, Dua Lipa and Michael Kiwanuka among nominees
More female artists nominated than any other year, including a fourth nomination for Laura Marling

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

23, Jul, 2020 @10:30 AM

Article image
Non-British citizens now eligible for Brit awards and Mercury prize
Artists who have been permanently resident in the UK for five years will qualify for British categories

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

24, Feb, 2021 @7:57 PM

Article image
How well do you know the Mercury prize?
As the 25th-annual event approaches, test how well you know the past winners, losers and all-round award show bothers

Guardian music

15, Sep, 2016 @9:00 AM

Article image
Mercury prize 2017 is won by Sampha's Process
The south London singer-producer’s powerful debut album Process, an R&B meditation on grief and fear, should propel him further into the spotlight

Mark Brown Arts correspondent

14, Sep, 2017 @9:20 PM

Article image
Skepta wins the 2016 Mercury prize – as it happened
The 25th Mercury prize was won by the London grime star for his album Konnichiwa. Here’s how the evening unfolded

Michael Hann

15, Sep, 2016 @9:09 PM