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BENJAMIN CLEMENTINE WINS MERCURY PRIZE
11/23/15

Benjamin Clementine takes this year’s Mercury Music Prize in Blighty for his debut album, At Least for Now. Released in January, the LP wowed critics and went #1 on iTunes in France (where Clementine lived after growing up in London).

A multi-instrumentalist and former busker, Clementine was signed to Ted Cockle’s Virgin EMI in the U.K. by President of Music Mike Smith earlier this year after already agreeing a deal with Universal Music France.

Now managed by Brian Message's ATC Management, Clementine's first EP was released in June 2013 via own label Behind Records and he made his U.K. TV debut with an appearance on the BBC’s Later... with Jools Holland later that year. At Least For Now was certified gold in France and won a Clementine a Victoires de la Musique award (the French equivalent of the Grammys) for best new artist.

The shortlist for the Mercurys is made up of 12 albums from British artists released in 2015. Virgin EMI had another act in the list, punk duo Slaves, and fought off competition from Darcus Beese's Island (Florence + The Machine) and a wealth of indies including Peter Thompson’s PIAS (Ghost Poet and Roisin Murphy) and Caius Pawson's Young Turks (Jamie xx, who was bookies’ favourite when the list was revealed).

Clementine dedicated his award to victims of the horrific terror attacks that happened in Paris recently. Speaking at the ceremony in London on Friday, he said: “The greatest in heroes in life are the anonymous. That’s what I believe. Your neighbours are heroes. People who, when you walk down the street, you see them feeding their little baby - these people are heroes because they are living under difficult situations but they're still trying to save a life. I couldn't have dedicated the prize to a much better person that those heroes who died.”

Check out Clementine's latest video for track "London."