Skepta Upsets David Bowie and Radiohead to Win the 2016 Mercury Prize

Grime continues to win. Photo: ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP/Getty Images

In a shocking turn of events, the winner of this year’s coveted Mercury Prize (Britain’s award for Best Album) is neither David Bowie nor Radiohead. It’s Skepta’s Konnichiwa! The grime artist pulled off the seemingly impossible at a ceremony in London on Thursday night, beating both of the acts favored to win. Earlier in the evening, Bowie’s Blackstar became the first-ever posthumous album to make the short list, alongside Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool, Michael Kiwanuka’s Love & Hate, Laura Mvula’s The Dreaming Room, and The 1975’s I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it (the last of which won the first-ever fan vote). But in the end, Skepta shut down the rest of the field, becoming only the second grime artist to ever win the Mercury Prize after Dizzee Rascal did it in 2003. According to presenter Jarvis Cocker, Bowie would approve. But probably not more than Drake.

Skepta’s Konnichiwa Wins the 2016 Mercury Prize