Bookies have installed David Bowie as the early favourite to win this year's Mercury Prize after his final album, Blackstar was nominated for the prestigious award which recognises the best UK or Irish album of the past twelve months.
The album which his producer Tony Visconti described as "a parting gift" for fans was released just days before his untimely passing in January. It will compete against records by eleven other artists including Radiohead, who've now been nominated five times without a win, Laura Mvula, The 1975 and Bat For Lashes.
Matty Healy, lead singer of The 1975, said it was "humbling" to be named on the same list as Bowie and said everyone "is incredibly proud. It's a very nice surprise".
The full list of nominees are:
- Hopelessness, Anohni
- The Bride, Bat for Lashes
- Blackstar, David Bowie
- Making Time, Jamie Woon
- Made in the Manor, Kano
- The Dreaming Room, Laura Mvula
- Love & Hate, Michael Kiwanuka
- A Moon Shaped Pool, Radiohead
- Adore Life, Savages
- Konnichiwa, Skepta
- I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It, The 1975
- Channel the Spirits, The Comet Is Coming
The judging panel said that this year's selection are "marked by their musical ambitions, unexpected instrumentation and breathtaking arrangements.” For the first time ever music fans will select the first of the six finalists through an online poll which opens today, while the panel will select the remaining five.
No Irish act has made the list this year, despite a strong Irish presence last year including Roisín Murphy's comeback album, Hairless Toys, while teenage Derry singer SOAK also received a nod for her debut album Before We Forgot How to Dream.
Also nominated in 2015 was Limerick-born Aphex Twin, aka Richard D James, who was shortlisted for his Grammy Award winning album Syro.
The winner of this year's Mercury Music Prize will be announced on September 15.