Meet our 2020 Judges

The 2020 Hyundai Mercury Prize judges are: Anna Calvi – Musician & Songwriter; Annie Mac – Broadcaster & DJ; Danielle Perry – Broadcaster & Writer; Gaz Coombes - Musician & Songwriter; Gemma Cairney – Broadcaster & DJ; Jamie Cullum - Musician & Broadcaster; Jeff Smith - Head of Music, 6 Music & Radio 2; Jorja Smith – Musician & Songwriter; Mike Walsh - Music Consultant, Kendal Calling/bluedot Festivals, War Child; Phil Alexander – Creative Director, Kerrang!/Contributing Editor, Mojo; Tshepo Mokoena – Editorial Director, VICE.com; Will Hodgkinson - Chief Rock & Pop Critic, The Times. The Chair of the judging panel is Jeff Smith.

The Hyundai Mercury Prize shortlist of 12 ‘Albums of the Year’ will be exclusively revealed on Lauren Laverne’s show on BBC Radio 6 Music from 10.30am to 11.30am on Thursday 23 July. The albums will be announced one-by-one and there will be interviews with some of the shortlisted artists.

David Wilkinson, Mercury Prize Chairman said ‘This has been a difficult & challenging year, so we are grateful to all the artists & labels that have supported the 2020 Hyundai Mercury Prize by entering their albums. Thanks also to the hardworking judges who have spent the last few months in lockdown listening to all the albums that were entered. Creatively the past year has been an amazing year for British music – so choosing just 12 Albums of the Year will be tough for the judging team. We’re looking forward to this year’s shortlist being announced by Lauren Laverne on her BBC Radio 6 Music show on 23 July.’ 

The Hyundai Mercury Prize recognises and celebrates the ‘Albums of the Year’, establishing a reputation for highlighting the work of both exciting emerging talent and more established bands and artists. The shortlist of 12 ‘Albums of the Year’ is chosen by an independent judging panel and recognises artistic achievement across a range of genres. Albums by British artists with a UK release date between 20 July 2019 and 17 July 2020 are eligible for the 2020 Prize.

The Prize’s broadcast partner, BBC Music, will be providing coverage of the 2020 Hyundai Mercury Prize across BBC TV, radio, online & social media.

Matt Dunnakey, Hyundai Motor UK Head of Marketing, said 'Whilst our title partnership of the Hyundai Mercury Prize has been integral to growing awareness of our brand here in the UK over the past few years, we are also pleased that our support has enabled continued innovation within British music. It has been a challenging time for us all in the last few months and there is no doubt that music in all its forms has helped us get through it. We look forward to seeing the highlights in the 2020 shortlist.’

For the first time, YouTube Music will come on board as the Prize’s digital music partner, partnering with the Hyundai Mercury Prize from the shortlist announcement onwards.