Veteran rocker Paul Weller will go head-to-head with artists including Dizzee Rascal, Corinne Bailey Rae and Laura Marling for the coveted 2010 Mercury Prize. The Jam star's latest album "Wake Up the Nation" has made the shortlist of 12 records which are under consideration for Britain's most prestigious music trophy.
Hip-hop star Dizzee Rascal landed a nod for his popular "Tongue "N" Cheek" album, which has spawned four chart-topping singles, along with Corinne Bailey Rae's "The Sea", Foals' "Total Life Forever" and "xx" by The xx.
Other acts to be nominated include Mumford & Sons' "Sigh No More", which will see band member Marcus Mumford compete against his girlfriend, Laura Marling, whose own record, "I Speak Because I Can", also made the list. Wild Beasts ("Two Dancers"), Biffy Clyro ("Only Revolutions"), Villagers ("Becoming a Jackal"), Kit Downes Trio ("Golden") and I Am Kloot ("Sky at Night") will also battle it out for the prize, which will be presented at a ceremony in London on September 7.
Early reports suggest bookmakers have Dizzee Rascal and The xx as joint-favorites at 4/1. Simon Firth, chairman of the Mercury judging panel, says, "This year's Mercury list includes musicians from all stages of their careers and from contrasting parts of the British Isles. It features music that is urban and rural, light and dark, joyful and profound. The records have wit, an abundance of musical energy and their own distinct voices. There is music here to make you laugh, cry, dance and sing."
Last year's Mercury prize was won by rapper Speech Debelle.