Mercury Prize: The best-selling winning albums

For some acts, the prize was a springboard to further success, while others never quite escaped its shadow.

Over the last 27 years, the Mercury Prize has thrust plenty of gems of albums into the spotlight that may otherwise have gone unnoticed forever.

For acts such as The xx, Dizzee Rascal and Alt-J, the prize was a springboard to further success, often on a global scale, while others never quite managed to escape its shadow.

With this year's recipient announced on Thursday September 20, Official Charts has crunched the numbers to reveal which Mercury Prize-winning records have sold the most, based on a combined figure of physical, digital, and streaming equivalent sales.

MORE: See the shortlist for the 2018 Hyundai Mercury Music Prize

Finishing top of the pile are Arctic Monkeys, winners in 2006 with their debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. The record was hugely popular before its Mercury nod - shifting 360,000 copies in its opening week alone - but its win no doubt spurred on sales, which currently stand at just shy of 1.78 million. Look at Arctic Monkey's Official UK Chart history in full here.

Three more prize winning albums have passed the million sales mark; Pulp's Different Class, which won in 1996, has sold 1.3m, and Franz Ferdinand's self-titled debut - released in 2004 at the height of the early '00s indie-pop wave - has shifted 1.29m. Meanwhile, Mercury shortlist regulars Elbow have sold 1.1m of The Seldom Seen Kid, which won the gong in 2008.

M People, the often-forgotten winners of the Mercury Prize in 1994, have the sixth best-selling winners album with their second album Elegant Slumming (757,000), while Londoners The xx - an act who shot to worldwide fame thanks to their win - place eighth with healthy sales of 597,000 for their self-titled debut. Originally entering the Official Albums Chart at 36 in 2009, the record shot to Number 3 after their win the following year. 

First winners Primal Scream, who are still together, come in seventh with Screamadelica, on 707,000.

PJ Harvey – the only artist to claim the Mercury twice – sees her 2001 winner Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea (296,000) place just two spots higher than 2011's Let England Shake (175,000), just ahead of last year's winner, Konnichiwa by Skepta (173,000).

This year's Mercury Prize winner will be announced at an awards show held at London's Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith on Thursday, September 20. The event will feature live performances from the majority of the twelve shortlisted artists, broadcast on BBC Four and BBC Radio 6 Music.

The Official best-selling Mercury Prize-winning albums

POS TITLE ARTIST PEAK YEAR OF WIN
1 WHATEVER PEOPLE SAY I AM THAT'S WHAT I'M NOT ARCTIC MONKEYS 1 2006
2 DIFFERENT CLASS PULP 1 1996
3 FRANZ FERDINAND FRANZ FERDINAND 3 2004
4 THE SELDOM SEEN KID ELBOW 5 2008
5 DUMMY PORTISHEAD 2 1995
6 ELEGANT SLUMMING M PEOPLE 4 1994
7 SCREAMADELICA PRIMAL SCREAM 8 1992
8 XX THE XX 3 2010
9 A LITTLE DEEPER MS DYNAMITE 10 2002
10 BRING IT ON GOMEZ 11 1998
11 THE HOUR OF BEWILDERBEAST BADLY DRAWN BOY 13 2000
12 AN AWESOME WAVE ALT-J 13 2012
13 MYTHS OF THE NEAR FUTURE KLAXONS 2 2007
14 NEW FORMS RONI SIZE/REPRAZENT 8 1997
16 BOY IN DA CORNER DIZZEE RASCAL 23 2003
17 SUEDE SUEDE 1 1993
18 STORIES FROM THE CITY, STORIES FROM THE SEA PJ HARVEY 23 2001
19 I AM A BIRD NOW ANTONY & THE JOHNSONS 16 2005
20 LET ENGLAND SHAKE PJ HARVEY 8 2011
21 KONNICHIWA SKEPTA 2 2016
22 OK TALVIN SINGH 41 1999
23 OVERGROWN JAMES BLAKE 8 2013
24 PROCESS SAMPHA 7 2017
25 AT LEAST FOR NOW BENJAMIN CLEMENTINE 37 2015
26 DEAD YOUNG FATHERS 35 2014
27 SPEECH THERAPY SPEECH DEBELLE 65 2009

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Look back over every Mercury Prize winner ever below: 

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Sampha (2017)