LONDON — Troubled diva Amy Winehouse put in the performance of the night at Tuesday’s Nationwide Mercury Music Prize in London, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the awards jury naming the Klaxons as this year’s winners.
The dance punk outfit lifted the prize courtesy of their album “Myths of the Near Future,” which kept up the Mercury judges’ reputation for rewarding acts who are seen as long-shots by the mainstream press.
The destination of the honor is voted on by a panel of musicians and critics, who base their decision on innovation, rather than commercial sales. In presenting the band with their $40,000 prize, the jury referred to the Klaxons’ sound as an “ecstatic musical adventure.”
Despite not winning, it was Winehouse who dominated all the headlines. Her much publicized problems with drugs and alcohol have seen her cancel a number of live appearances lately and prior to last night’s ceremony, organizers were unsure whether she would even attend the event, let alone perform.
However, her rendition of new single “Love Is a Losing Game” had the hundreds of music industry executives, journalists and fellow musicians mesmerized, but it was not enough to sway the judges in her favor.
Other Mercury nominees included last year’s winners Arctic Monkeys, as well as Fionn Regan, Bat for Lashes, New Young Pony Club, The View, Dizzee Rascal, Jamie T, The Young Knives, Maps and Basquiat Strings.