Skepta has stunned music fans by taking out the Mercury Music Prize, beating favourites David Bowie and Radiohead.
The Grime MC, who will perform a sold out show in Auckland next Friday night, thanked those who had helped him through "depressed times" at the star-studded crowd at the London event, The Guardian reported.
He won the award for his album Konnichiwa, which was released earlier this year.
Bowie was hotly tipped to claim the prestigious Mercury Prize for Blackstar, an album infused with jazz and a dark lyricism that foreshadowed his death in January just two days after the album's release, following an undisclosed cancer battle.
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Radiohead, who hold the Mercury record for most nominations but have never won the prize, were shortlisted for A Moon Shaped Pool, in which the experimental rockers inch back to their guitar-rock origins.
Other nominees included Anohni, Bat For Lashes, Savages, The 1975, Laura Mvula, Michael Kiwanuka and Kano.
Skepta performs at Auckland's Logan Campbell Event Centre next Friday night at a sold out show.
- NZ Herald with AFP