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Wednesday, 30 October, 2002, 18:29 GMT
Hip-hop stars land Shortlist prize
N*E*R*D
N*E*R*D's debut album In Search Of took the prize
US hip hop artists N*E*R*D have won the second annual Shortlist prize - regarded as the US equivalent of the UK's Mercury awards.

N*E*R*D - a collaboration between production duo Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo and their friend Shay - were honoured for their debut album In Search Of.

They were presented with their award at a ceremony at Hollywood's Henry Fonda theatre on Wednesday.

N*E*R*D triumphed against some strong international competition, including Bjork, DJ Shadow, The Hives, Doves, Aphex Twin, Zero 7, The Flaming Lips and The Avalanches.

Credible

Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo
N*E*R*D grew out of Williams and Hugo's production work
The judges included Beck, Iggy Pop, Metallica's Lars Ulrich, Larry Mullen Jr from U2 and members of The Strokes.

Although still little known outside the US, the Shortlist prize is seen as a more credible alternative to mainstream American awards like the Grammys.

It has been compared by some critics to the UK's Mercury Prize, but unlike the Mercury its artists are international and its judging panel not restricted solely to industry experts.

Boundaries

N*E*R*D's Williams and Hugo, who also work as producers under the name of The Neptunes, hailed the prize as one of the most important they had received.

It's by cool people for cool people, but for the people ultimately

N*E*R*D
"It's just cool to be amongst all those great groups, everybody from The Hives to The Vines to DJ Shadow," they said.

"It's a bunch of people with a similar vision to make music, not caring what boundaries or genres. It's by cool people for cool people, but for the people ultimately."

N*E*R*D grew out of the production talents of Williams and Hugo - the team behind hits for artists like Jay-Z, Backstreet Boys, Kelis, Mary J Blige and Usher.

They developed the N*E*R*D project alongside hometown friend Shay, resulting in an eclectic mix of hard hip-hop beats with psychedelic pop and classic rock.

See also:

28 Jun 02 | Entertainment
17 Sep 02 | Entertainment
28 Feb 02 | Entertainment
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