David Bowie’s final album ‘Blackstar’ has been nominated for the 25th annual Mercury Prize for best album. Considered by many to be Bowie’s parting gift, ‘Blackstar’ discusses illness, death and afterlife and provides an insight into the mind of a man who inspired a generation.
Blackstar was released on 8th January this year, which was Bowie’s 69th birthday. The ‘Life on Mars?’ singer passed away two days later after a battle with cancer.
Before his death, many critics initially commented on the cryptic nature of Bowie’s album, with The Guardian’s Alexis Petridis remarking that the record “seems to offer those attempting to unravel his lyrics a wry ‘best of luck with that’”.
Although, with the reveal that Bowie had been battling liver cancer for 18 months before his death, the lyrics of the album gain poignancy and a deeper meaning is uncovered. With lines such as ‘I know something is very wrong,’ and ‘Look up here/ I’m in heaven,’ Bowie’s final album is not only a goodbye but a tribute to the fans that have supported him throughout his career.
The album reached number one in 28 countries, and received widespread acclaim from music critics across the world. Rolling Stone magazine’s David Fricke described the album as ‘a ricochet of textual eccentricity and pictorial-shrapnel writing’.
The list of nominees for the £25,000 Mercury Prize includes Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool, Skepta’s Konnichiwa, The 1975’s I Like it When You Sleep and Savages’ Adore Life.
The shortlist for the prize was compiled by a panel of judges made up of Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker, singer-songwriter Jessie Ware, producer Naughty Boy and Radio 1’s Annie Mac.
The ceremony will be broadcast live from London’s Eventim Apollo on BBC Four and 6 Music on 15th September 2016 and will be hosted by Radio DJ Lauren Laverne.