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Ed Sheeran vs Grime on Mercury shortlist

July 27, 2017

Ed Sheeran has picked up his first nomination for the Mercury Prize, recognising the overwhelming success of his third album.

 

But he faces strong competition from grime artists Stormzy and J Hus and rapper Loyle Carner, who each receive nominations for their debut albums.

Their nominations come a year after Skepta took home the £25,000 prize, beating bookies' favourite David Bowie.

Former winners The xx and Alt-J also make the 12-strong shortlist.

  • LIVE: Mercury Prize reaction and updates

Sheeran's nomination stands out because the Mercury Prize rarely recognises mainstream pop.

In recent years the likes of Adele's 25 and Sam Smith's In the Lonely Hour have been overlooked, as the prize seeks to champion new and underappreciated music.

Yet Sheeran's domination of the charts would have been hard to ignore. When it was released, all 16 of Divide's songs made the Top 40.

The album has sold 2.06 million copies in the UK, making it the year's biggest-seller.

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