Mercury Prize by Numbers

As the 2017 Hyundai Mercury Prize gets even closer, we got our calculators out to crunch the numbers behind the history of the prize. 


The number of acts who have won the Mercury Prize twice: PJ Harvey in 2001 and 2011


Acts who could match PJ’s record at this year’s prize: The xx and Alt J


Guises Damon Albarn has been shortlisted under: Blur, his own name and Gorillaz (although the cartoon imps withdrew from the prize in 2001)


The most nominations a single act has received, a title held by Radiohead


Number of this year’s shortlisted artists who feature on their album covers


Solo artists who have won the prize so far…


…while 13 bands have also triumphed


Winning debut albums, including first releases from Suede, Dizzee Rascal, Young Fathers and Portishead


The number of “creatures” to be shortlisted for the Mercury Prize, including Doves and Wild Beasts, animals of the Glass and Super Furry varieties, a Polar Bear, a Dinosaur, Guillemots, Foals and a Topley-Bird, to name just a few


The different acts (including supergroup The Smokin’ Mojo Filters) who featured on War Child’s 'Help' album, shortlisted for the 1996 prize. The charity compilation is the only Various Artist release to be honoured


The number of characters (with no spaces) in the longest album title to ever win the Mercury Prize - Arctic Monkey’s 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not'. Alex Turner and crew pipped PJ Harvey's 'Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea' to post for longest winning title by just one character. As for the shortest? It's a tie between The xx’s 'xx' and Talvin Singh’s 'Ok', both just two characters long.


Mercury shortlisted albums to go at least Platinum in sales.


Albums shortlisted in the lifetime of the Mercury Prize, so far…


The phone number Alex Turner suggested be called in his winner’s speech when Arctic Monkeys “robbed” (in his opinion) Richard Hawley in 2006

120, 000,000

The estimated sales of Mercury Prize shortlisted albums since the prize began in 1992

Find out who will win the 2017 Hyundai Mercury Prize at the Eventim Apollo on September 14th. Get your tickets here.

Make sure you are tuned in to BBC Four from 9pm to see who will win or listen to BBC Radio 6 from 7pm for coverage with Tom Ravenscroft.