PJ Harvey’s “Let England Shake” has collected the U.K.’s Mercury Prize, marking the second time the singer-songwriter has won the prestigious award in its 20-year history.
At Tuesday’s ceremony at London’s Grosvenor Hotel, Harvey (tagged as the favorite by local bookies) triumphed over vocalist Adele, whose sophomore album “21” is the year’s biggest hit on both sides of the Atlantic, and collections by buzzy newcomers James Blake and Anna Calvi and 2008 winners Elbow.
Harvey also took the Mercury in 2001 for her “Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea.” She received noms for “Rid of Me” in 1993 and “To Bring You My Love” in 1995. Sporting a number of distinctly Brit-themed songs — “I live and die through England,” one runs — “Let England Shake” was widely viewed as a major career rebound after Harvey’s stark, indifferently received 2007 album “White Chalk.”Sponsored by Barclaycard and presented by a select music biz panel, the Mercury Prize is awarded annually for the highest artistic achievement from a field of 12 albums released in the U.K. and Ireland. Harvey is the first to win the award twice.