Belfast Telegraph

Joint favourites Adele and PJ Harvey in Mercury Prize tussle

By Anthony Barnes

Record-breaking star Adele has been nominated for this year's Barclaycard Mercury Prize - and immediately installed as joint favourite to win.

Her second album, 21, is already the biggest-selling album of the year and set a new record for an unbroken 11-week stint at the top of the charts.

She will battle it out with two previous winners, PJ Harvey and Elbow, and nine other acts for the prize.

Head of judges Simon Frith said: "Clearly from the odds and common sense there are two people on the list who are favourites for good reason. One is Adele, because that record has quite clearly been in lots of other ways the record of the year, and the other is PJ Harvey because she's won it before and she is an outstanding artist."

Bookmakers William Hill have made Adele and Harvey 4/1 joint favourites.

It is the second time Adele has been up for the prize, with her debut 19 missing out in 2008 to Elbow's The Seldom Seen Kid.

PJ Harvey won in 2001 for Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea on the night of 9/11. She is in the running this year for her acclaimed album Let England Shake.

The Mercury Prize - won last year by The XX - is held in high esteem within the industry, but more importantly it can boost sales of nominees and winners.

The overall winner of the 2011 prize will be revealed on Tuesday September 6 and broadcast live on BBC Two.

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