Dubliner Dave Balfe, AKA For Those I Love has won the RTÉ Choice Music Prize for Album of the Year.

The winner of the 2021 RTÉ Choice Music Prize was announced this evening at a live event in Vicar St tonight by Noel Hogan of The Cranberries.

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For Those I Love is the brainchild of producer and songwriter Balfe. At its core, the album pays tribute to Dave's best friend and former bandmate, Paul Curran, who passed away in 2018.

Following Paul's tragic death, Dave locked himself away in his home studio for months, ultimately recording over 76 songs that would eventually be condensed down to form the basis of his acclaimed debut album.

Dave Balfe with his Choice Music Award

The event, hosted by RTÉ 2FM's Tracy Clifford and broadcast live on RTÉ 2FM featured exclusive performances from eight of the nominated artists: Elaine Mai, House Plants, Kojaque, Mick Flannery & Susan O'Neill, Saint Sister, Soda Blonde, Villagers and For Those I Love.

The winner receives a cheque for €10,000, a prize which has been provided by the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) and the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA), as well as a specially commissioned award.

RTÉ2 will broadcast a one-hour TV highlights programme of the RTÉ Choice Music Prize, featuring performances from the eight acts, along with interviews by Bláthnaid Treacy, on Sunday March 13th at 11pm.

Images: Andres Poveda