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Tuesday, 17 September, 2002, 23:36 GMT 00:36 UK
Ms Dynamite wins Mercury prize
Ms Dynamite
The singer was left speechless by the win
Rising R&B star Ms Dynamite has won the Mercury Music Prize for her debut album, A Little Deeper.

The 21-year-old beat favourites The Streets and The Coral as well as music legend David Bowie but confessed she "had not got a clue" why she had won.

The singer from north London has seen an incredible rise to fame in a matter of months and has another chance for glory at the Mobo awards in October, where she will be competing in six categories.

The music industry gathered at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London to see the 20,000 prize given out on Tuesday night.

2002 shortlist
Beverley Knight
The Bees
The Coral
David Bowie
Doves
The Electric Soft Parade
Gemma Hayes
Guy Barker
Joanna MacGregor
Ms Dynamite
Roots Manuva
The Streets

A speechless Ms Dynamite became the first solo black female artist to take the prestigious prize.

Later, at a press conference, she regained her composure enough to say she would be giving the money to charity - though she was yet to decide which one.

She said: "I feel really happy and excited that my music has been acclaimed and accepted."

The star, whose real name is Naomi McLean-Daley, has been acclaimed for her original lyrics and melodic voice.

She has already scored chart hits with singles Dy-na-mi-tee and It Takes More.

Picking up her prize from saxophonist and prize judge Courtney Pine, the R 'n B performer struggled to speak.

She eventually blurted out: "I really don't know what to say. I've never been speechless. Oh my goodness."

Past Mercury winners
1992 Primal Scream
1993 Suede
1994 M People
1995 Portishead
1996 Pulp
1997 Roni Size & Reprazent
1998 Gomez
1999 Talvin Singh
2000 Badly Drawn Boy
2001 PJ Harvey

"I wish I had known - I would've prepared a better speech."

Last year's ceremony was on the evening of 11 September with many feeling it should have been cancelled even at such short notice.

PJ Harvey won the prize, but was unable to accept it in person as the attacks left her stranded in Washington DC.

The competition has a reputation of not giving the prize to the hot favourite, but never honouring the rank outsiders.

As he handed out the award judge Courtney Pine joked he had in the past thought the prize was "fixed".

It has also been criticised for tokenism, with jazz, classical, world music and older folk entrants rarely getting a sniff of victory.

This year Guy Barker and Joanna MacGregor were seen as the "token" entries from the worlds of jazz and classical music and pundits had rated their chances as negligible.

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The BBC's Phil Williams
"Her songs blend different types of music"


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 VOTE RESULTS
Has the Mercury music prize jury got it right?

Yes
 46.75% 

No
 53.25% 

2678 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

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