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Tuesday, 30 July, 2002, 16:16 GMT 17:16 UK
Mercury Music Prize: 2002 nominees
David Bowie
David Bowie has never been nominated before
BBC News Online profiles the acts short listed for the 2002 Mercury Prize - one of the UK music industry's top awards.

Click on the name of the nominee to read their profile: Doves, The Streets, The Coral, Ms Dynamite, Beverley Knight, David Bowie, Roots Manuva, The Bees, Gemma Hayes, The Electric Soft Parade, Joanna MacGregor and Guy Barker.

Doves were also nominated in 2000
The Last Broadcast

A trio of Manchester musicians, Doves have transformed themselves in the last 10 years.

Originally called Sub Sub, and part of the city's club culture, Jimi Goodwin, Jez Williams and twin Andy Williams had a hit with Ain't No Love (Ain't No Use) before re-emerging as Doves with a strong guitar sound.

The Last Broadcast has already been described as the "first great indie guitar album of the 21st Century" and follows on from the Mercury nominated Lost Souls two years ago.

The big single on the album There Goes the Fear was released and deleted on the same day, but it did not stop it from becoming a hit.

They have worked as an occasional backing band for Badly Drawn Boy but with two Mercury nominations under their belt it seems unlikely they will remain under the shadow of Damon Gough for long.

The Streets' Mike Skinner
The Streets' Mike Skinner was described as the English Eminem
The Streets
Original Pirate Material

Mike Skinner has been described variously as the UK's Eminem and the authentic voice of Blair's Britain, heavy burdens for a 22-year-old whose much praised album was recorded in his bedroom.

Original Pirate Material has been called the year's best debut release and one of the most important albums of 2002.

It s a gritty, funny, irreverent collection of songs which chart a whole host of unusual characters.

The Coral
The Coral's album has earned rave reviews
The Coral
The Coral

Young, talented and musically diverse The Coral have made the shortlist for the prize despite the fact their album was released just 24 hours before the nominations were made known.

From Holyake, in Liverpool, the six-piece band seemed to have been born out of a post-modern age - their songs include a fabulously diverse range of influences, from music to movies.

Carried along by a wind of hype and expectation they were the focus of a record company bidding war which reportedly won them a 1m deal.

BBC News Online's Ian Youngs wrote: "The Coral sound like they took part in a secret rock'n'roll genetic experiment that went horribly wrong, but still ended up giving them super powers."

Ms Dynamite
Ms Dynamite is a UK garage singer and MC
Ms Dynamite
A Little Deeper

Naomi McLean-Daley, also known as Ms Dynamite, has had an explosive last 12 months.

Her track Booo! catapulted her into the spotlight last May, entering the charts at number 12 after being played on the club scene for about a year.

The song quickly established the London MC as one of the hottest young talents to emerge from the capital's vibrant UK garage scene.

The 21-year-old, one of 11 brothers and sisters, was raised in north London and her passion for roots, reggae is reflected in her music.

Her single It Takes More has been one of the biggest hits of the summer.

Beverley Knight
Beverley Knight has had a string of chart hits
Beverley Knight
Who I Am

Soul singer Beverley Knight triumphed in the 1999 Music of Black Origin awards, winning best album and best R 'n' B artist but then seemed to disappear from the music scene for a while.

Unfortunately tagged as Britain's great soul hope for many years, her recent material seems to have fulfilled much of her early promise.

The Wolverhampton-raised singer returned with a huge chart hit this year, Shoulda Woulda Coulda, and much of her album is a mix of soul, R&B and straightforward pop music.

David Bowie
David Bowie released Heathen through his own record company
David Bowie

Bowie is one of the most enduring and acclaimed artists Britain has ever produced.

His music and image has changed and adapted from the 1970s and 1980s, through to the 1990s and the new century.

A pioneer of electronic and guitar music in the 1970s with albums such as Hunky Dory and Low, he is often cited as a major musical influence on many contemporary artists.

His solo material, collaborations and work in a band (Tin Machine) have divided and delighted critics almost equally.

Sidelined for much of the 1990s, his most recent album Heathen has been almost universally praised.

Roots Manuva
Roots Manuva is one of the biggest names in UK hip-hop
Roots Manuva
Run Come Save Me

Rodney Hylton Smith, from Stockwell, in London, is regarded as one of the leading lights in the UK hip-hop scene.

He first made his name among more mainstream audiences with a prominent guest slot came on Dusted, the opening track on Leftfield's second album Rhythm And Stealth.

His debut album Brand New Second Hand was hailed on release in 1999 by the NME as "that most rare of phenomena, a fine UK hip-hop album".

The follow-up Run Come Save Me experiments in both language and sonics and offers an alternative to more formulaic US hip-hop.

On the song Trim Body, he says: "I ain"t a rapper, I'm a psychic link to a parallel world."

The Bees
The Bees recorded in a shed on the Isle of Wight
The Bees
Sunshine, Hit Me

Paul Butler and Aaron Fletcher, two close friends from the Isle of Wight, are said to write and perform their material in a shed, using their own home recording equipment.

They have been compared to The Beta Band, as creators of infectious, complex pop music and like The Coral they incorporate a whole generation or two of styles into their songs.

The Beach Boys, Pink Floyd and The Beatles are all referenced in the album.

A six-piece when playing live, they recently supported Macy Gray on a UK tour.

Gemma Hayes
Pierce Brosnan is among the fans of Gemma Hayes
Gemma Hayes
Night On My Side

Brought up in the secluded village of Ballyporeen, in Tipperary, Ireland, Hayes has been compared to Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez.

The comparisons are not disingenuous, like Baez and Mitchell, Hayes is a genuine singer-songwriter of great musical accomplishment.

Her emotionally-charged debut album, Night on My Side, follows a widely-praised EP 4.35AM which caught the attention of many music critics.

She cites her music influences as Nick Drake, John Martin, Mogwai, Deus, The Frames and The Blue Nile.

The Electric Soft Parade
The Electric Soft Parade are two brothers from Brighton
The Electric Soft Parade
Hole in the Wall

Another extremely young group of musicians to have made a big splash, the band, from Brighton, are made up of brothers Alex and Tom White, plus Matt Twaites and Steve Large.

Originally called The Soft Parade, until they discovered another band with the same name, they were tipped by NME as one of the best new bands in Britain and their debut album is already hailed as one of the must-purchases of 2002.

A mixture of 1960s classics and psychedelia, the album was hailed by the Guardian as "glorious megapop".

Joanna MacGregor
Joanna MacGregor's album includes works by Elizabethan composers
Joanna MacGregor

Considered one of the most innovative and wide-ranging pianists on the classical scene, she is a formidable recording artist and performer.

She divides her time between playing classical, jazz and contemporary music and has worked with some of the biggest names in contemporary classical music, including Harrison Birtwistle, Pierre Boulez and John Adams.

Her album Play includes performances of works by Elizabethan composers William Byrd and John Dowland as well as collaborations with Talvin Singh and South African jazz pianist Moses Molelekwa.

The Independent newspaper described the album as a "genuine creative journey".

Guy Barker
Guy Barker featured on the Talented Mr Ripley soundtrack
Guy Barker

One of the UK's best jazz trumpeters, he is a highly experienced and respected musician who has worked with the likes of Peter Gabriel, Gil Evans, Ornette Coleman and Quincy Jones. He is also a long-time member of Sting's band.

Previously nominated in 1995, this year's shortlisted album is made up of songs for films not yet made and includes a number of interpretations, among them Mozart's Magic Flute.

Soundtrack was described by the Guardian as "the most affectionately assembled, elegantly arranged and idiomatically diverse" record he has produced to date.



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