Speech Debelle Wins Mercury Music Prize!
Gone are the days when you could turn on the TV to see the Spice Girls yelling out ‘Girl Power’ on our television screens……Does this mean girl power is dead?.....Hell NO!
Yesterday saw Speech Debelle, win this year's Barclays Mercury music prize, beating the more highly- tipped entries by Florence and the Machine and Kasabian. This shock win has made Debelle the first woman in seven years to scoop the popular industry award.
According to the Guradian, Speech Debelle, whose real name is Corynne Elliot, appeared overwhelmed by the occasion and looked close to tears as she accepted the prize. Speaking on winning the award, she told interviewers "It means a lot to me because it's an award judges give solely on the strength of the album"…."Before they said my name I had a moment of doubt, I thought 'what if I don't win? What about all the people who supported me?' and then they announced my name and I didn't have time to react, I was being mobbed."
Debelle's album was written when she was a teenager living alone in a hostel after her parents asked her to leave home in her teens. She was asked in the post-award press conference what she would do with money she replied calmly "probably be smart and invest it."
The Mercury music prize was established in 1992 to acknowledge the best British album of the year despite of press coverage or chart success. Although Speech Debelle’s album “Speech Therapy” has not sold enough copies to be recognized in the official UK albums chart since its release in June, the Mercury music prize judges said she was a "remarkable new voice in British hip-hop, tough, warm and reflective".
South London rapper Debelle is the first woman to take home the award and £20,000 prize money, since fellow London-born rapper Ms Dynamite, who she said was her inspiration won in 2002 with her debut album “A Little Deeper”. Her success marks a year in which female artists, including La Roux and Bat for Lashes dominated the nomination list and the MOBO team couldn’t be more proud. Originally given the lowest odds to come away with the award, Debelle has proved that dreams really do come true!!
Speech Debelle definitely deserves a “You Go Girl” from the MOBO team!
Written by Paida Fundira-Shava