London's own Speech Debelle last night defied the odds and won the coveted Mercury Music Prize. The Crystal Palace-born rapper, a virtual unknown by industry standards — her album, Speech Therapy, has sold barely 3,000 copies and has yet to reach the charts — faced fashionable favourites Florence and the Machine and La Roux, but despite the tough competition on a female-heavy shortlist, Debelle (nee Corynne Elliot) walked away victorious. In a post-award interview the 26-year old said she'd been confident she'd win and has set her sights on taking home a clutch of Grammys. She'd do well, though, to study the careers of previous Mercury-winning rappers. Will Speech forge a path like that of Dizzee Rascal, who won in 2003 and has since become a huge breakout star? Or is she likely to emulate Ms. Dynamite, the 2002 victor whose post-Mercury career foundered?
Speech Debelle Wins Mercury Music Prize
Last Updated 09 September 2009