Winning the Mercury Prize would help ditch my caricature image

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Mercury Prize nominee Lily Allen says winning the award would help ditch her “caricature image” and make a huge difference to her life.

Despite being one of the more established acts in the running for the prestigious music honour, the 33-year old said taking home the award would help change the public’s perception of her.

Allen’s fourth studio record – No Shame – is one of the 12 shortlisted albums in the running for this year’s Mercury Prize.

Ahead of Thursday’s ceremony, she told Sky News: “There is a caricature version of myself which is portrayed in the mainstream press, and the artist part of me gets lost a lot of the time.

Lily Allen is nominated for the Mercury music prize  Winning the Mercury Prize would help ditch my caricature image skynews lily allen music mercury 4427085
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Lily Allen is nominated for the Mercury Prize for her album No Shame

“Already being nominated has helped with that immensely, but to win would just be amazing.”

No Shame was written during the break-down of Allen’s seven-year marriage to builder and decorator Sam Cooper.

It also followed the poor reception to her third album, Sheezus.

Allen said the writing process for her latest work was “cathartic”.

She told Sky News: “When things started not to go to plan with my third album, I felt like a massive failure – not just for myself, but that I’d let everybody else around me down. That was a real struggle.

“This album has been about figuring out what my intentions are with this work.

The singer says she 'lost her sense of self' during the Sheezus era  Winning the Mercury Prize would help ditch my caricature image skynews lily allen glastonbury 4409285
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The singer says she felt like a ‘massive failure’ with her third album Sheezus

“It wasn’t really to get on the radio or brand endorsements.

“It was about explaining how I felt and putting that to music and I feel like I’ve achieved that.”

Allen says if she scoops the £25,000 Mercury Prize winnings she would spend it on forming a women-led musicians union.

Fellow nominee Nadine Shah is hotly-tipped with bookies as the favourite to take home the prize.

Other high profile artists vying for the best album prize include Arctic Monkeys, Florence + The Machine and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

Only two debut albums have made it into the competition this year – Jorga Smith’s Lost And Found and Novelist’s Novelist Guy.

While Richard Russell’s Everything Is Recorded is technically his debut album, the music producer (who is responsible for signing Adele) is an old hand in the music industry.

Other acts in the running for the prize are Everything Everything, King Krule, Nadine Shah, Sons Of Kemet and Wolf Alice.

All of the acts – with the exception of Gallagher – are due to perform at the ceremony on Thursday.

The winner will be announced live on BBC Four just after 10pm.



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