Entertainment & Arts

Mercury Prize: David Bowie tipped for posthumous win

David Bowie Image copyright PA
Image caption David Bowie's album Blackstar was released just two days before his death in January

David Bowie is the clear frontrunner to win this year's Mercury Prize, with one bookmaker making him 4/7 favourite.

Bowie, who died in January, will become the first person to receive the £25,000 prize posthumously if his Blackstar album is crowned the winner later.

Other nominees include Laura Mvula, The 1975, Kano and Bat For Lashes.

Radiohead have also been shortlisted for their album A Moon Shaped Pool, having been nominated on four previous occasions.

However, the band have yet to win the award - which recognises the best British or Irish album of the past year.

Albums that beat Radiohead to the Mercury Prize
Year Radiohead album Eventual prize-winner
1997 OK Computer Roni Size - New Forms
2001 Amnesiac PJ Harvey - Stories From The City...
2003 Hail To The Thief Dizzee Rascal - Boy In Da Corner
2008 In Rainbows Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid

Actor Michael C Hall will perform a tribute to David Bowie at Thursday's ceremony at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, London.

He will sing Blackstar's Lazarus, which opens with the lyric: "Look up here, I'm in heaven."

The star of Dexter and Six Feet Under will soon be seen in London in the lead role in Bowie's musical - also called Lazarus - which premiered shortly before his death.

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Media captionMercury nominees describe their records in three words

While the Mercury Prize tends to favour debut albums, this year's list only features one - Channel The Spirits by London jazz trio The Comet Is Coming.

William Hill make Anohni - who won the Mercury Prize as Antony and the Johnsons in 2005 - second favourite at 7/1. Grime artist Skepta is third favourite at 8/1 for his album Konnichiwa.

However, bookmakers have a poor track record at predicting the Mercury Prize. Of the recent winners, only Alt-J's An Awesome Wave in 2012 was anywhere near a front-runner.

The full list of nominees is:

  • Anohni - Hopelessness
  • Bat For Lashes - The Bride
  • David Bowie - Blackstar
  • Jamie Woon - Making Time
  • Kano - Made In The Manor
  • Laura Mvula - The Dreaming Room
  • Michael Kiwanuka - Love and Hate
  • Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
  • Savages - Adore Life
  • Skepta - Konnichiwa
  • The 1975 - I Like It When You Sleep...
  • The Comet Is Coming - Channel The Spirits

Read more about the nominees

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Media captionMercury Prize 2016: Watch the nominees

The shortlist was chosen by a panel of judges including former winner Jarvis Cocker, Radio 1's Annie Mac, pop producer Naughty Boy and singer Jessie Ware.

Notable omissions from the list include Adele's 25 and Coldplay's A Head Full Of Dreams, which were the two biggest-selling albums released during the eligibility period: 26 September 2015 to 29 July 2016.

Thursday night's ceremony will be televised on BBC Four, hosted by Lauren Laverne. Half of the albums will be eliminated as the show commences, leaving six "finalists" to compete for the prize.

The winner will be announced shortly before 22:00 BST.

You can follow the build-up to the ceremony, with red carpet interviews and backstage gossip, on BBC Music News LIVE from 16:00 BST.

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