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Speech Debelle takes Mercury Prize

Speech Debelle was the surprise victor of last night’s Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize, beating widely tipped Florence and the Machine and other heavy hitters like Kasabian to the prestigious £20,000 prize.

The 25-year-old south Londoner’s debut album Speech Therapy came out of nowhere to tickle critics pink with its deft rhymes and interesting music, but it had only sold 3,000 copies before last night. That much-vaunted sales boost that the Mercury Prize supposedly gives would be very nice for young Speech, thank you very much. That being exactly what she said in her acceptance speech, by the way.

‘Thank you to the panellists, to my band, thank you so much to my mum, to my fans,’ she said. ‘Thank you to whoever's name's on the cheque. I'll be here all night – thank you very much, good night.’

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