One album on the shortlist will be decided by fans.

This year’s Mercury Prize will include a public voting element for the first time. The longlist of 12 albums will be revealed on August 4, after which the public will be invited to select one album to fast-track to the pool of six finalists. The judging panel will then choose the further five finalists and ultimately decide on the overall winner.

This year’s panel has not been unveiled in full yet, but judges so far include Jarvis Cocker, Jamie Cullum, Ellie Rowsell of Wolf Alice, Kate Tempest and Naughty Boy. The award also has a new sponsor, Hyundai, replacing Barclaycard. All six finalists and the overall winner will be announced during the 2016 Awards Show on September 15.

The public won’t have any say in Mercury’s own longlist, however, which narrows the pool considerably. In 2013, My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields accused the Mercury Prize of “banning” his band’s comeback album mbv from consideration because it was not distributed through Amazon or iTunes.

Last year’s winner was Benjamin Clementine, who picked up the award for his debut album At Least For Now, seeing off competition from Aphex Twin’s Syro and Jamie xx’s In Colour. [via Official Charts Company]



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