The British singer becomes the first artist to ever win the prestigious prize twice
PJ Harvey won the coveted 2011 Mercury Music Prize last night – 10 years after her first win – and became the first act to scoop the prestigious award twice.
The Devon-born singer-songwriter beat off stiff competition from the likes of Adele, Katy B and Tinie Tempah to bag this year’s award and a £20,000 prize for her eighth studio album, Let England Shake.
Harvey – the initials stand for Polly Jean – was named the winner at a glitzy ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, where she collected her award wearing a floor-length ethereal white gown and a feathered headdress.
In her acceptance speech, Harvey spoke of her gratitude at being able to collect her award in person this time, unlike a decade ago when she was stuck in Washington DC during the September 11th terrorist attacks.
She said: ‘It’s really good to be here this evening as when I last won 10 years ago on September 11th I was watching the Pentagon burning from my hotel window.’
A clearly moved Harvey added: ‘Thank you for the recognition of my work on this album.’
The songstress also performed one of the songs from her war-inspired album live at the event, as did all the other nominees, bar Adele who’s suffering from a chest infection.
PJ Harvey won the Mercury Music Prize in 2001 for her album Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea.