Radiohead, PJ Harvey, Gorillaz and Basement Jaxx are among the artists nominated for this year's Technics Mercury Music Prize, Britain's most prestigious annual music award.
The prize is presented, along with £20,000 (approximately $28,000), to the English or Irish act whose album is voted the best of the year by an independent panel of music industry judges. The winner will be announced on September 11 in London.
Gorillaz, the cartoon-band brainchild of "Tank Girl" creator Jamie Hewlett and Blur frontman Damon Albarn, declined their nomination on Tuesday (July 24) with a press statement credited to their menacing (yet fictional) bassist, Murdoc, who called the prize "heavy ... like carrying a dead albatross round your neck for eternity."
The band's Virgin Records rep confirmed that the refusal to accept the nomination was — unlike Gorillaz themselves — entirely real.
U2's All That You Can't Leave Behind, expected by many to be in the running for the award, was not nominated.
Last year's prize went to Badly Drawn Boy, a.k.a. Damon Gough, whose experimental folk-pop record The Hour of Bewilderbeast beat out efforts by Coldplay, Death in Vegas and Richard Ashcroft, among others (see [article id="1124010"]"Badly Drawn Boy Wins Prestigious Mercury Music Prize"[/article]).
Other past winners include Talvin Singh (for OK in 1999), Gomez (Bring It On, 1998), Roni Size/Reprazent (New Forms, 1997) and Pulp (Different Class, 1996).
The complete list of nominees for the 2001 Technics Mercury Music Prize:
(This story was updated at 6:10 P.M. ET on Tuesday, July 24, 2001.)