Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, poet Kate Tempest and grime artist Stormzy are among a dozen finalists for the prestigious Mercury Prize , recognizing the British or Irish album of the year.
Sheeran’s global hit “Divide,” Tempest’s witty and hard-hitting “Let Them Eat Chaos” and Stormzy’s “Gang Signs and Prayers” are among front-runners for the 25,000 pound ($33,000) prize, which includes entries across a wide range of genres.
Other contenders include “Relaxer” by rockers Alt-J, “I See You” by indie band The xx, “Common Sense” by rapper J Hus and “Together, As One” by jazz ensemble Dinosaur.
Established in 1992 and open to acts from Britain and Ireland, the Mercury Prize often favors the eclectic and the obscure over better-known performers.
The winner will be announced Sept. 14.