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Grime Star Skepta Beat David Bowie for One of Britain’s Top Musical Honors

Hyundai Mercury Prize 2016
David M. Benett—Getty Images Joseph Junior Adenuga a.k.a. Skepta picks up the winning prize at this year's Hyundai Mercury Prize 2016 on Sept. 15, 2016, in London

Skepta's album Konnichiwa was chosen over Bowie's Blackstar

This year’s Mercury Prize — the award given annually to the best new British album — has gone to the London-born rapper Skepta, who beat David Bowie for the honor.

It’s for his album Konnichiwa, a political work described as a “landmark in British street music,” the BBC reports.

The 33-year-old Skepta — born Joseph Junior Adenuga — is a major figure in the grime genre, a gritty fusion of hip-hop, U.K. garage and drum-and-bass music.

The Mercury award brings him a cash prize of more than $33,000, and the honor of beating out David Bowie, whose final album Blackstar — released mere days before his death — was also up for the prize.

“I’m just so thankful. I’ve been trying to do this music stuff and work it out for so long,” Skepta told the BBC.


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