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From the GBR blog

Stormzy and Ed Sheeran to battle it out for Mercury Prize

Ed Sheeran is set to face off with collaborator and friend Stormzy in the upcoming Mercury Prize.

Stormzy’s debut record ‘Gang Signs and Prayers’, and Sheeran’s record-breaking third Album ‘Divide’ were named the 12-strong shortlist for the incredibly prestigious prize.

It’s Sheeran’s first ever appearance on the shortlist, which comes after the 26-year old’s record-breaking year. This year has seen him dominate the UK charts, even more than he’s done so before.

Alt-J and the xx will also be hoping to collect their second Mercury crown following a previous success in 2010 and 2012. Meanwhile, poet Kate Tempest’s ‘Let Then Eat Chaos’ marks her second time on the list.

All in-all there are seven albums which are up for the award, which includes singer-songwriter Sampha’s Process and rapper J-Hus’ Common Sense in reaching for the prize with their full-length releases.

Plus, indie pop band Blossoms, rapper Loyle Carner, jazz-inflected group Dinosaur and London four-piece The Big Moon are involved with other nominees whose records are also up for the prize.

Then, completing the shortlist is Glass Animals, with their ‘How To Be A Human Being’.

The shortlist recognizes the Best album of the year, and was narrowed down by approxaimtely 12 judges which includes musicians Jamie Cullum, Ella Eyre, Lianne La Havas and Marcus Mumford.

When revealing the shortlist, judges have said: “This year’s Hyundai Mercury Prize shortlist celebrates the remarkable power of British music.

“What these artists have in common is an infectious pleasure in music making and an arresting sense of urgency about the music they make.

“They delight in exploring musical possibilities and refusing to be pinned down by genre conventions.”

The prize was awarded to grim artist Skepta last year, which meant that he beat David Bowie’s Blackstar.