David Bowie’s Blackstar has been selected by an independent panel of music industry insiders—this year including Jessie Ware, Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker, and Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell—to stand alongside 11 other shortlisted albums nominated for this year’s Mercury Prize. The award, which comes with a £25,000 (roughly $33,000) cash prize, is bestowed once a year to a release from a British or Irish band or musician.
While neither the recently departed Bowie nor his fellow nominee Radiohead have much need for need for either the press or the money, inclusion here can mean huge boosts in album sales for non-household names like grime artists Kano and Skepta, or electronica singer-songwriter Jamie Woon.
The full shortlist is as follows:
- Anohni, Hopelessness
- Bat For Lashes, The Bride
- David Bowie, Blackstar
- The Comet Is Coming, Channel The Spirits
- Kano, Made In The Manor
- Michael Kiwanuka, Love & Hate
- Laura Mvula, The Dreaming Room
- The 1975, I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It
- Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool
- Savages, Adore Life
- Skepta, Konnichiwa
- Jamie Woon, Making Time
Bowie has been nominated for the Mercury Prize twice before, first for Heathen in 2002 and then for The Next Day in 2013. But he lost out to Ms. Dynamite’s A Little Deeper and James Blake’s Overgrown respectively. If his swan song release is picked this year, he’ll join a list of recipients that includes Benjamin Clementine (At Least for Now, 2015), Franz Ferdinand (Franz Ferdinand, 2004), PJ Harvey (Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea, 2001 and Let England Shake, 2011), Pulp (Different Class, 1996), and the inaugural winner, Primal Scream (Screamadelica, 1992).