LONDON (AFP) — The Klaxons scored a shock upset by winning the prestigious Mercury Prize on Tuesday, beating out favourites Amy Winehouse and the Arctic Monkeys.
The band, a three-piece group from London that have only been together for a couple of years, won the 20,000-pound award with their debut album "Myths of the Near Future".
They beat out 11 other nominated groups, including last year's winners the Arctic Monkeys, and soul singer Winehouse, for the prize which is awarded for the best British or Irish album of the previous 12 months
The trio -- singer Jamie Reynolds, keyboard player James Righton and guitarist Simon Taylor -- initially released two singles, which were at first limited to just 500 copies each, but generated a great deal of interest.
"A year ago today when we were recording this album we were watching the Arctic Monkeys and saying we've got to make a great album," Righton said after The Klaxons were announced as the winners of the prize.
"It's about pushing music forward, we're really happy."
Nick Weinberg, a spokesman for Ladbrokes, a bookmaker, described their victory as "a shock".
"All the money had been for Bat For Lashes," he added, referring to another of the nominees.
"Myths of the Near Future" reached the second overall spot in the album charts at the beginning of the year, and included hit singles "Golden Skans" and "It's Not Over Yet".
Describing the award-winning album, the judges said: "Rock meets pop meets dance -- the Klaxons take us on an ecstatic musical adventure."
Previous winners of the Mercury Prize, set up in 1992, have included Primal Scream, Suede, Pulp, Ms Dynamite, Franz Ferdinand and Antony and the Johnsons.
The organisers claim it is Europe's top arts prize in terms of influence and media coverage. Winning, or even being shortlisted, usually sparks a surge in sales.
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