Ed Sheeran is battling it out with grime megastar Stormzy for the 2017 Mercury Prize.
The shortlist for this year’s award was announced on Thursday (27Jul17), with 12 artists in the running for the prestigious album prize.
Ed’s been nominated for his third record ÷ (divide), which has spawned hits, such as Shape of You and Castle on the Hill, and has dominated the 2017 charts. The album spent 14 weeks at the top of the U.K. album charts in four consecutive runs since March.
Stormzy’s Gang Signs & Prayer landed him his first nod. It’s the rapper’s debut album, and is also a former U.K. number one. The nomination comes a day after the English star celebrated his 24th birthday, and the star is the early favourite to go home with gold.
The xx also made the 2017 cut, garnering a nomination for I See You, the British band’s first album in five years. London poet and songwriter Kate Tempest, who is nominated for the second time, also made the cut.
The 2017 Mercury Prize takes place on 14 September. The winner is chosen by a panel of experts, hailing from musical and media backgrounds, and takes home $33,000 (£25,000). Last year Skepta beat out the likes of David Bowie and Radiohead to go home victorious.
The full list of 2017 Mercury Prize nominations:
The Big Moon: Love in the 4th Dimension
Loyle Carner: Yesterday’s Gone
Dinosaur: Together, As One
Glass Animals: How to Be a Human Being
J Hus: Common Sense
Ed Sheeran: ÷
Stormzy: Gang Signs & Prayer
Kate Tempest: Let Them Eat Chaos
The xx: I See You