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Mercury Prize announces major shake up

09 May 2016, 13:15 | Written by Laurence Day

The Mercury Prize has announced a raft of changes as it prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary later this year.

Hyundai Motor are the award's new title partner as part of a three year deal, while BBC Music remain as broadcast partners. Changes to the award include a "revamped Judging Panel, a fan poll and a new finalists phase on the night of the Awards Show."

On 4 August, a 12-artist shortlist will be unveiled at a launch event broadcast live on BBC 6 Music. Immediately after this, an online poll will open for fans and followers to select the first of six finalists, with the remaining five finalists (and overall winner) being picked by an expert panel of judges.

Joining the judging panel are Jarvis Cocker, Kate Tempest, Jamie Cullum, Wolf Alice's Ellie Rowsell, Naughty Boy, and Annie Mac - the full panel will be revealed in the near future.

The Hyundai Mercury Prize 2016 awards show takes place 15 September at Hammersmith's Eventim Apollo. There will be live performances and a "special collaboration" to celebrate the Mercury's 25th birthday, and you can follow via the BBC's live radio and TV coverage.

Dan Ford, Managing Director of the Hyundai Mercury Prize, says of the changes: “2016 marks the start of a new era of innovation for the Mercury Prize, as we begin a dynamic new partnership with Hyundai. We are particularly excited about the evolution of the judging process, including the introduction of a diverse new panel and a fan poll. The changes will enable music fans to play a part in the process for the first time, whilst ensuring that the Prize maintains its reputation for celebrating the best British and Irish albums, based solely on artistic merit.”

Last year's Mercury Prize was won by Benjamin Clementine for his debut record At Least For Now.

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