The prize was awarded for her latest LP, Let England Shake,
which she spent several years researching in depth. It dissects
British politics, war and national identity, yet still debuted in
the Top Ten upon release.
She beat off competition from the likes of Adele, Elbow, Tinie
Tempah, James Blake and Anna Calvi to clinch the annual
Harvey, who was born in Dorset and has a substantial lesbian and
gay following, is the only artist to have won the award twice.
She previously won it in 2001, during the aftermath of 9/11, for
her critically acclaimed and commercially successful Stories from
the City, Stories from the Sea.
At the time, she was the first woman to ever win the title.
"It's really good to be here as when I last won 10 years ago on
September 11 I was in DC watching the Pentagon burn from my hotel
room," she told the audience at the awards ceremony in the
Grosvenor House hotel in London.
When discussing the process of making the album she said she
wanted to make "something of meaning, not just for myself but for
The annual Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize is the most coveted
award in the industry, chosen by critics and experts, rather than
sales or press coverage.