Music fans can vote for an album to reach the Mercury Prize shortlist this year


For the first time in its 25-year history the Mercury Prize is allowing fans to choose an album on this year's shortlist.

A 12-album longlist will be announced on August 4 via BBC 6 Music and fans will then be able to vote online for one to proceed to the final, while the judges decide on the other five. Only six albums will be finalists this year, opposed to the usual 12.

"2016 marks the start of a new era," Mercury Prize director Dan Ford said. "The changes will enable music fans to play a part in the process for the first time, whilst ensuring that the Prize maintains its reputation for celebrating the best British and Irish albums, based solely on artistic merit."

Judges this year include Jarvis Cocker, who won the prize in 1996 with Pulp, Jamie Cullum, Annie Mac, Kate Tempest, Naughty Boy, and Ellie Rowsell from Wolf Alice.

All six nominees will perform at the ceremony on September 15 and a special collaboration will take place to mark the prize's 25th year.

Previous winners include PJ Harvey, Ms Dynamite, Dizzee Rascal, The XX, James Blake, and most recently Benjamin Clementine, among others.