The XX Win Mercury Prize

click image to enlarge
September 7, 2010 | 5:55pm EST

Rockers The Xx served up a shock at the 2010 Mercury Music Prize announcement on Tuesday by beating red-hot favorite Paul Weller to the top album honor.
The London trio was stunned by the prestigious music award for their debut, xx, which was named Britain’s best album of the past year.

The rockers thanked their friends and family as they scooped the prize, as well as the $30,000 cheque they received as the Mercury Prize victors.

Accepting the award, bass player Oliver Sim said, “Wow! Thank you so much. We have had the most incredible year and it’s just felt like every day we have woken up to something incredible that we weren’t expecting. It’s felt a bit like a haze. Just being here has been a weird moment of clarity of all that’s happened. It just means so much.”

The band triumphed over a shortlist of 11 other albums, which included rapper Dizzee Rascal’s Tongue N’ Cheek, folk singer Laura Marling’s I Speak Because I Can and Corinne Bailey Rae’s The Sea.

The XX were the bookmakers’ early favourites to win the 2010 prize, but they were overtaken by Weller after a rush of last-minute bets were placed on his album Wake Up The Nation over the weekend.

Other nominees included Foals, I Am Kloot, Mumford & Sons and jazz group The Kit Downes Trio.

Previous winners of the Mercury Prize – established in 1992 to celebrate the best of British and Irish music – include the Arctic Monkeys, Elbow and Franz Ferdinand.