Arlo Parks has been announced as the overall winner of the 2021 Hyundai Mercury Prize for Album of the Year. The Awards Show was hosted by BBC Music’s Lauren Laverne and guest presenter, Annie Mac announced the overall winner on behalf of the judging panel. The event was held at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith.
An overjoyed Arlo collected the winner’s trophy and cheque for £25,000, and then performed a song from the winning album ‘Too Good’ to a standing ovation from the audience.
Watch her performance of 'Too Good' here.
The judging panel said ‘It was extremely difficult to choose a winner of the 2021 Hyundai Mercury Prize. There were so many strong albums, of such diversity and character. But in the end we decided that Arlo Parks was an extremely worthy winner. Addressing such complex issues as mental health and sexuality with real empathy, displaying a lyrical wisdom that belied her 21 years, with ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams’ Arlo Parks has created an album that has captured the spirit of the year in a positive, forward thinking fashion. It has the ability to reach out and remind a wider audience of the timeless art of the album. Arlo is an artist who connects deeply with her generation and reflects the plurality of contemporary British life.’
The Show featured live performances from any of the 2021 shortlisted ‘Albums of the Year’ including Arlo Parks, BERYWN, Black Country, New Road, Celeste, Ghetts, Hannah Peel, Laura Mvula, Mogwai, Nubya Garcia, and Wolf Alice. With short films being shown about the albums by SAULT and Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & the LSO.
The Prize’s broadcast partner, BBC Music, provided live television and radio coverage of the event on BBC Four & on BBC Radio 6 Music. BBC Four broadcast the Hyundai Mercury Prize 2021 Live: Album of the Year (9pm-10.15pm) and The Mercury Prize on BBC Radio 6 Music was hosted by Tom Ravenscroft (8pm-12am).
The Hyundai Mercury Prize ‘Albums of the Year’ celebrate and promote the best of British and Irish music recognising artistic achievement across a range of contemporary music genres.
Hyundai, the title sponsor of the Prize, is thrilled with the list this year. Out of the most challenging times, has come the most extraordinary creativity, and as a brand that likes to push the boundaries ourselves, we’re delighted to hear innovative music that breaks new ground and inspires a better world.
As part of its ongoing commitment to support UK recorded music, renowned British audio brand Bowers & Wilkins continue to partner the Hyundai Mercury Prize, helping to celebrate the album format and the shortlisted artists’ creative achievements.
The 2021 Hyundai Mercury Prize ‘Albums of the Year’ are:
Arlo Parks ‘Collapsed in Sunbeams‘
Black Country, New Road ‘For the First Time‘
Celeste ‘Not Your Muse‘
Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra ‘Promises‘
Ghetts ‘Conflict of Interest‘
Hannah Peel ‘Fir Wave‘
Laura Mvula ‘Pink Noise‘
Mogwai ‘As the Love Continues‘
Nubya Garcia ‘SOURCE‘
SAULT ‘Untitled (Rise)‘
Wolf Alice ‘Blue Weekend‘