Arlo Parks wins UK’s Mercury P

Arlo Parks. Image via Twitter @MercuryPrize

Arlo Parks wins UK’s Mercury Prize for ‘Collapsed in Sunbeams’ [watch]

Alternative British musician Arlo Parks walked away with this year’s Mercury Prize for her debut album ‘Collapsed in Sunbeams’.

Arlo Parks wins UK’s Mercury P

Arlo Parks. Image via Twitter @MercuryPrize

Rising star Arlo Parks won Britain’s Mercury Prize on Thursday 9 September for her debut album Collapsed In Sunbeams at a ceremony in the British capital. 

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The British singer-songwriter and poet with French, Nigerian and Chadian roots, is just 21 years old. 

“We chose an artist with a singular voice, who uses lyrics of remarkable beauty to confront complex themes of mental health and sexuality, and who connects deeply with their generation in doing so,” said broadcaster and author, Annie MacManus, who announced the winner.

Her debut album, influenced by trip-hop and soul, was released in January and reached number three in the British music charts. 

Accepting the award, she said:

“It took a lot of sacrifice and hard work to get here and there were moments where I wasn’t sure whether I would make it through — but I am here today so thank you very much.”


Twelve albums had been nominated for the prize and 10 of the nominated artists were on stage at the legendary Apollo venue in Hammersmith, west London in a ceremony broadcast by the BBC. 

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Among them were Scottish post-rock band Mogwai, soul singer Celeste and rock group Wolf Alice, who won the Mercury Prize three years ago. 

Created in 1992 as an alternative to the more mainstream Brit Awards, the Mercury Prize’s past winners have included PJ Harvey, Pulp and Skepta. The prizewinner takes home £25 000 (about R488 000).

Last year’s winner was singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka.