• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest

P.J. Harvey Wins Mercury Prize for 'Let England Shake'

P.J. Harvey Mercury Award - P 2011

Harvey is the first person to ever win the award, which recognizes the best British or Irish album of the year, twice.

P.J. Harvey won the Mercury Prize for best U.K. album of the year Tuesday, making her the first person to ever win the prize twice.

Her Let England Shake bested efforts from acts like Adele, Elbow, James Blake and popular U.K. rapper Tinie Tempah.

Harvey's previous win was for her 2000 effort, Stories of the City, Stories of the Sea. Several songs from that album were inspired by and about New York City.

She was on a U.S. tour when she won her first Mercury prize on Sept. 11, 2001, learned of the award while holed up in a hotel room in Washington, D.C. She said Tuesday that much had changed this second time around, "It's also good to be here this evening. When I last won 10 years ago on September 11, 2001. I was watching the Pentagon burning from my hotel window.

"So much has happened since then. This album took me a long time to write. It was very important to me. I wanted to make something meaningful, not just for myself but for other people, and hopefully to make something that would last."

Let England Shake addresses war, conflict, the U.N. and England's position as a military power. Harvey has said that she researched the album for two years, studying Britain's attack on Gallipoli in 1915 and reading testimonies from soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other things.

The Barclaycard Mercury Prize was awarded at a ceremony at London's Grosvenor House Hotel. The winner has been selected by a small group of music journalists and industry professionals since 1992.