The Barclaycard Mercury Prize is an instant rocket to the moon for the careers of UK musicians. With past winners including the likes of the Arctic Monkeys, PJ Harvey, the Klaxons and more, winning the award is the ultimate musical gold star (unless you’re Roni Size). And while most years the winner is somewhat predictable, the arguable dark horse that is rapper Speech Debelle has nabbed the honor in a ceremony held earlier today.
Beating out the likes of Bat for Lashes, The Horrors, Friendly Fires, and Florence and the Machines, the latter of which had been the 5/2 favorite with bookmakers ahead of the London ceremony, Debelle is a rapper signed to London-based Big Dada. Her debut album, Speech Therapy, was released this past May (and in in the U.S. in August) and has already produced three hit singles in “Searching”, “The Key”, and “Go Then, Bye”.
Thanks to The Guardian for their blog coverage of the ceremony and an update on the tart situation. As to what happens with Debelle, stay tuned to CoS if the prize (and the subsequent 20,000-pound check that comes with it) makes Debelle a star in the states and beyond.