London: English musician Polly Jean Harvey has become the first artist to win the prestigious Barclaycard Mercury Prize twice.
Harvey, 41, who had long been the bookies’ favourite, claimed the 20,000 pounds prize with her release ‘Let England Shake’, which was inspired by conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
She beat acts like Adele and Brit-winning star Tinie Tempah to take the prize yet again after previously winning it on the day of the September 11 attacks.
Harvey wore a full-length white dress with a white leather bodice shaped like a straitjacket, which was inspired by her album, to attend the ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.
“Thank you for the recognition of my work on this album,” the Telegraph quoted her as saying as she collected the prize.
“It’s also good to be here this evening. When I last won 10 years ago on September 11, 2001, I was watching the Pentagon burning from my hotel window.
“So much has happened since then. This album took me a long time to write. It was very important to me. I wanted to make something meaningful, not just for myself but for other people, and hopefully to make something that would last,” she added.
The album features graphic lyrics about warfare, as well as allusions to other songs and unusually includes the prominent use of an autoharp, played by Harvey.