Sonicnet Music News
Manchester, England, singer-songwriter Badly Drawn Boy claimed the coveted Mercury Music Prize late Tuesday night at the Grosvenor House in London for his acclaimed debut LP, "The Hour Of Bewilderbeast."
Badly Drawn Boy (born Damon Gough) released the album in the U.K. in June, and it entered the album chart at number 13, despite not having a radio single. "The Hour Of Bewilderbeast" is set for U.S. release on October 3 through Beggars Banquet.
The Mercury Music Prize is Britain's most prestigious album award, given annually to one outstanding album released in the UK or Ireland. Talvin Singh's "OK" and Gomez's "Bring It On" have won the award the two previous years.
"I don't mind if it takes 20 years for people to realize how good an album this is," Gough said in his U.K. bio. "I totally didn't write it to fit in with what's going on, or is accepted, right now. I just wanted it to be considered as a classic piece of work."
Gough's wish came true Monday, and according to his U.S. spokesperson, he took the stage to accept the prize and accidentally dropped his check for £20,000 on the floor beneath the podium.
Badly Drawn Boy beat out albums by Coldplay, Death In Vegas, The Doves, Richard Ashcroft, Leftfield, and seven others to win this year's Mercury Music Prize (see "Ashcroft, Death In Vegas, Coldplay Nominated For Mercury Prize").
British oddsmakers made Badly Drawn Boy a late 2 to 1 favorite to win the award in the last few days, up from the original 7 to 1 odds posted for "The Hour Of Bewilderbeast."
Speaking to MTV News a few days before the award was handed out, Jimi Goodwin, a guitarist-vocalist from fellow Mercury nominees The Doves, talked about the honor, which he predicted that Gough would win.
"It's nice to be nominated for anything," Goodwin said. "I'd prefer it if it were a fan thing, if it was kids and just people voting. But it's an industry thing, isn't it? Let's not forget that [the award] is set up by the industry to sell records.
"We're not gonna win it anyway, but it's not like, 'Oh, well, then why bother being excited about it?' There's some good music in there. Our friend, Damon, of Badly Drawn Boy, he's gonna [win]. Damon's got a really good chance, and he's favored right now." [RealAudio]
Badly Drawn Boy has received widespread praise for his four independently released EPs on his own Twisted Nerve label, along with the track "Nursery Rhyme," which he contributed to James Lavelle and DJ Shadow's revered U.N.K.L.E. album, 1998's "Psyence Fiction."
Badly Drawn Boy plans to tour North America in November, according to his spokesperson.