PJ Harvey last night became the first ever artist to win the Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize twice, bagging the award for her latest album, Let England Shake.
Harvey last won the prize a decade ago, her 2000 record Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea receiving an award the day after the 9/11 terror attacks in New York.
“It’s really good to be here, as when I last won 10 years ago on September 11 I was in DC watching the Pentagon burn from my hotel room,” said the musician to the audience at the Grosvenor House hotel.
Accepting her award with quiet dignity in a striking white gown and headdress, Harvey said she was “delighted and really happy to have won the prize”, adding that she hoped the album was “something of meaning, not just for myself but for other people.”
The Dorset-born artist beat off competition from Adele, Metronomy, Everything Everything, Ghostpoet, Anna Calvi, Tinie Tempah, Elbow, Gwilym Simcock, James Blake, Katy B and King Creosote & Jon Hopkins for the award.
The Mercury Prize – televised last night on BBC2 – was established in 1992 as an annual means of recognising the best album in the UK and Ireland.