UPDATE: PJ Harvey was awarded the Mercury Prize, making her the first artist to win the coveted award twice.
In a world where awards are given based on talent, the Mercury Prize, one of the UK's -- and the music industry's -- most prestigious awards, will be handed to one British musician (or musical group) tonight. In the guessing game leading up to the evening, we've somehow ended up with two favorites who are being labeled not just as "a favorite," but "THE favorite."
It seems different metrics are being used to determine what constitutes this. According to the Guardian, PJ Harvey is the favorite to win this evening, with bookmakers Ladbrokes and Paddy Power giving her 5/4 odds, as opposed to much lower 5/1 odds for Adele. The BBC also places Harvey as the favorite, citing the bookmakers as well. Harvey won the prize once before in 2001, for Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea. If she wins again, she'll be the first artist to ever take home the Mercury twice.
Despite Adele's low odds compared to Harvey's, the Associated Press has a different vision for the evening, though their metric is unclear. The AP article states that "Adele is the favorite to win," but it doesn't elaborate on why, aside from the fact that she has been dominating album and single charts across the globe since the release of 21. Adele was listed as leading the shortlist for the award back in July, which may make her the default favorite for the award for those who aren't taking bookies into account.
Whoever the favorite is, it may not even matter since the Mercury Prize has a history of opting for the underdog. In 2002, Ms Dynamite won for her debut album, beating out The Streets and David Bowie. In 1999, Talvin Singh beat out The Chemical Brothers and Blur for the top prize.
So really, this is anyone's game. But we're keeping our fingers crossed that credit is given where it's due for Harvey's gorgeously haunting Let England Shake.
The full list of nominees is as follows:
Adele – 21
Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi
Elbow – Build a Rocket Boys!
Everything Everything – Man Alive
Ghostpoet – Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam
Gwilym Simcock – Good Days at Schloss Elmau
James Blake – James Blake
Katy B – On a Mission
King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Diamond Mine
Metronomy – The English Riviera
PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
Tinie Tempah – Disc-Overy
Listen to PJ Harvey's "England":
Listen to Adele's "Rolling in the Deep":