The Hyundai Mercury Prize shortlist of 12 ‘Albums of the Year’ will be revealed at a launch hosted by BBC Music’s Huw Stephens on Thursday, 22 July.

The shortlist will also be announced live on air just after 11am on BBC Radio 6 Music, with a Mercury Prize special from midday presented by Huw Stephens.

The 2021 Hyundai Mercury Prize judges are: Anna Calvi – Musician & Songwriter; Annie Mac – Broadcaster & DJ; Danielle Perry – Broadcaster & Writer; Gemma Cairney – Broadcaster & DJ; Hazel Wilde (from Lanterns on the Lake) - Musician & Songwriter; Jamie Cullum - Musician & Broadcaster; Jeff Smith - Head of Music, 6 Music & Radio 2; Michael Kiwanuka - Musician & Songwriter; Mike Walsh - Music Consultant; Phil Alexander – Creative Director, Kerrang!/Contributing Editor, Mojo; Tshepo Mokoena – Editorial Director,; Will Hodgkinson - Chief Rock & Pop Critic, The Times. The Chair of the judging panel is Jeff Smith.

David Wilkinson, Mercury Prize Chairman said ‘It’s been another difficult & challenging year - and we’re grateful to all the artists & labels that have supported the 2021 Hyundai Mercury Prize by entering their albums. Many thanks also to the hardworking & dedicated judging team who have spent the last few months listening to the entries. Creatively this is shaping up to be an exceptional year for British music - with so many outstanding albums released over the past year. So choosing just 12 Albums of the Year will be a tough decision for the judging team. We’re looking forward to the shortlist being announced on 22 July.’

The 2021 Awards Show will take place on Thursday 9 September at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith. The event will feature live performances from many of the shortlisted artists and the evening will culminate in the announcement of the overall winner of the 2021 Hyundai Mercury Prize for ‘Album of the Year’. The Prize’s broadcast partner, BBC Music, will be providing coverage of the event across BBC TV, radio, online & social media.

Matt Dunnakey, Hyundai Motor UK Head of Marketing, said ‘Whilst our title partnership of the Hyundai Mercury Prize has been integral to growing awareness of our brand here in the UK over the past few years, we are also pleased that our support has enabled continued innovation within British music. The role of music as a catalyst for creativity and innovation can never be underestimated, we look forward to seeing the highlights in the 2021 shortlist.’

As part of its ongoing commitment to support UK recorded music, renowned British audio brand, Bowers & Wilkins, will continue as a partner of the Hyundai Mercury Prize, helping to celebrate the album format and the shortlisted artists’ creative achievements.

The Hyundai Mercury Prize recognises and celebrates the ‘Albums of the Year’, establishing a reputation for highlighting the work of both exciting emerging talent and more established bands and artists. The shortlist of 12 ‘Albums of the Year’ is chosen by an independent judging panel and recognises artistic achievement across a range of genres. Albums by British artists with a UK release date between 18 July 2020 and 16 July 2021 are eligible for the 2021 Prize.