Michael Kiwanuka has won the 2020 Mercury Prize for his self-titled third album. One of our best albums of 2019, KIWANUKA won over albums by Charli XCX, Laura Marling, Dua Lipa, Porridge Radio, and others.
“I’m over the moon, so so excited,” he said on receiving the prize. “This [prize] is for art, for music, for albums – it’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do, so to win a Mercury is a dream come true… It’s blown my mind.”
Asked why he decided to give the record his name, he said he had experienced “imposter syndrome … it was taking things away from the experience of doing my dream job. So I made a decision when I was making this album that I wanted to be myself, enjoy it, and not hold back, and show myself as clear as I can be.”
The winner was decided by a 12-strong panel, which included musicians Anna Calvi, Jorja Smith, Jamie Cullum and Supergrass’ Gaz Coombes; broadcasters Annie Mac, Danielle Perry and Gemma Cairney; journalists Phil Alexander, Tshepo Mokoena and Will Hodgkinson; and industry figures Jeff Smith and Mike Walsh.
Kiwanuka had previously been nominated for his albums Home Again and Love and Hate, which were released in 2012 and 2016 respectively.