Over the last 29 years, the Mercury Prize has helped thrust game-changing albums into the spotlight that may otherwise have gone unnoticed.
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 a handful never quite managed to escape its shadow.
With this year's Mercury Prize winner announced this week on September 24, 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.
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 1.95 million equivalent units. Look at Arctic Monkey's Official UK Chart history in full here.
Artic Monkeys performing at the 2006 Mercury Prize (Shutterstock)
Three more prize winning albums have passed the million sales mark; Pulp's Different Class, which won in 1996, has sold 1.33m, and Franz Ferdinand's self-titled debut - released in 2004 at the height of the early '00s indie-pop wave - has shifted 1.3m. Meanwhile, Mercury shortlist regulars Elbow have sold 1.11m of The Seldom Seen Kid, which won the gong in 2008.
M People, winners of the Mercury Prize in 1994, have the sixth best-selling winners album with their second album Elegant Slumming (759,000), while Londoners The xx - an act who shot to worldwide fame thanks to their win - place eighth with healthy sales of 626,000 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 715,000.
Wolf Alice at the 2018 Mercury Prize (Shutterstock)
PJ Harvey – the only artist to claim the Mercury twice – sees her 2001 winner Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea (301k) place four spots higher than 2011's Let England Shake (179k), while last year's winner, Psychodrama by Dave, is 18th (241k).
In place of the traditional ceremony at London's Eventim Apollo, BBC Four will air the 2020 Hyundai Mercury Prize ‘Albums of the Year’ programme, featuring special live performances from most of the shortlisted acts. The show will also be available on YouTube.
On Thursday September 24, the winner of the coveted trophy and £25,000 cash endorsement will be revealed on BBC One's The One Show, taking the prize to primetime on the BBC's lead channel for the first time. Running concurrently on BBC 6Music will be a two-hour radio show celebrating the event hosted by Tom Ravenscroft.
The Official biggest Mercury Prize-winning albums
|POS||TITLE||ARTIST||PEAK||YEAR OF WIN||CHART SALES|
|1||WHATEVER PEOPLE SAY I AM THAT'S WHAT I'M NOT||ARCTIC MONKEYS||1||2006||1.95M|
|3||FRANZ FERDINAND||FRANZ FERDINAND||3||2004||1.3M|
|4||THE SELDOM SEEN KID||ELBOW||5||2008||1.11M|
|6||ELEGANT SLUMMING||M PEOPLE||4||1994||759K|
|9||BRING IT ON||GOMEZ||11||1998||502K|
|10||A LITTLE DEEPER||MS DYNAMITE||10||2002||498K|
|11||THE HOUR OF BEWILDERBEAST||BADLY DRAWN BOY||13||2000||460K|
|12||AN AWESOME WAVE||ALT-J||13||2012||445K|
|13||MYTHS OF THE NEAR FUTURE||KLAXONS||2||2007||351K|
|14||NEW FORMS||RONI SIZE/REPRAZENT||8||1997||336K|
|15||BOY IN DA CORNER||DIZZEE RASCAL||23||2003||310K|
|17||STORIES FROM THE CITY, STORIES FROM THE SEA||PJ HARVEY||23||2001||301K|
|19||I AM A BIRD NOW||ANTONY & THE JOHNSONS||16||2005||233K|
|21||LET ENGLAND SHAKE||PJ HARVEY||8||2011||179K|
|23||VISIONS OF A LIFE||WOLF ALICE||2||2018||86K|
|26||AT LEAST FOR NOW||BENJAMIN CLEMENTINE||37||2015||36K|
|28||SPEECH THERAPY||SPEECH DEBELLE||65||2009||15K|
Copyright Official Charts Company 2019.
*This chart is compiled taking in physical sales, downloads and streaming equivalent sales.
Look back over every Mercury Prize winner ever below: