Debelle leaves them speechless as the 2009 Mercury Music Prize winner

Speech Debelle
Speech Debelle

"How possible?", some or most wonder speechless (pun beckons), but Debelle has indeed beaten her 11 competitors (including some meriting hype-champions in Florence and The Machine, Friendly Fires, Bats For Lashes and Glasvegas) to the most sought-after prize in Britain!

Her debut album, 'Speech Therapy', released last May, was voted the best of this year's shortlist, on cred only, by a selected panel of musicians, executives, journalists (including Jude Rogers of The Guardian) and other music industry practitioners, thus succeeding Elbow's 'The Seldom Seen Kid' and earning Debelle some handy 20 grand and the prospect of a presidential salute from her native South London.

Filling the long-lasting gap between Neneh Cherry and Miss Dynamite, as she knew she could, Speech Debelle becomes the first non-'indie' act to win the Prize since Dizzee Rascal in 2003.

To detractors: cheer for a change, will you...!

Solange Moffi

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