- 10 Sep 21
"I am completely speechless. I don't have the words," Parks said while accepting the award.
London singer-songwriter Arlo Parks won the prestigious Mercury Prize award last night for her stunning debut album Collapsed in Sunbeams.
The poetic artist (real name Anaïs Oluwatoyin Estelle Marinho) faced stiff competition for the 2021 edition of the award, beating Wolf Alice, Celeste, Black Country New Road and Mogwai amongst others.
"I am completely speechless. I don't have the words. I just want to say a big thank you to my family. My mum and my dad are somewhere in the room today," she said in her acceptance speech.
"It took a lot of sacrifice and hard work to get here and there were moments where I wasn’t sure whether I would make it through – but I am here today so thank you very much."
Michael Kiwanuka won last year's Mercury Prize for his self-titled record Kiwanuka and was featured on the judging panel for this year's ceremony alongside Irish BBC Radio 1 DJ and author Annie Mac, Jamie Cullum and Anna Calvi.
In our 10/10 review of Collapsed in Sunbeams, Hot Press' Tanis Smither gave the album massive praise, writing, "Arlo Parks’ debut is a colour study of the human condition: poignant, joyful and everything in between."
Watch Arlo Parks' acceptance speech after winning the 2021 Mercury Prize:
"It took a lot of sacrifice and hard work to get here and there were moments where I wasn't sure if I would make it through, but I'm here today" - @arloparks accepts the 2021 Hyundai Mercury Prize.#HyundaiMercuryPrize pic.twitter.com/aglEVaCsy6
— Mercury Prize (@MercuryPrize) September 9, 2021
Listen to Collapsed in Sunbeams below: