Suffolk singer Ed Sheeran to battle it out for Mercury Prize - but will he win?

Ed Sheeran is honoured to be on the shortlist for the Mercury Prize, but he doesn't think he will wi

Ed Sheeran is honoured to be on the shortlist for the Mercury Prize, but he doesn't think he will win. Picture: KEVIN WINTER - Credit: Kevin Winter

Ed Sheeran will compete against friend Stormzy for this year’s Mercury Prize.

The Framlingham star has had a jam packed year from performing at Glastonbury, featuring in Game Of Thrones and dominating the UK Charts, but that’s not the end of the list.

Ed’s next challenge will be competing against grime star Stormzy for the Mercury Prize.

Sheeran and Stormzy collaborated on the Shape Of You remix track and now both of their recent albums have been shortlisted for the prestigious prize.

The list features Ed’s album Divide, Stormzy’s Gang Signs And Prayers album, as well as Alt-J’s Relaxer record.

The Suffolk star posted on Instagram saying it had always been a dream of his to be shortlisted for the Mercury prize.

He wrote: “ My dream when I first started music was to sell out Shepherd’s Bush empire and have a Mercury nominated album. Did the latter on the first album but have never been nominated on either album so just assumed it would ever happen, as I’m aware, I’m not the most critically acclaimed artist out there. But today, low and behold, woke up to find out Divide has been shortlisted. Now I’m aware I won’t win, but to be put on the shortlist is a real honour, and something that makes both 26 year old me and 13 year old me very happy and proud. So thank you to whoever put me up for it, I’m sorry I can’t make the ceremony as I am still touring the USA. But thank you. You rock x”

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This will be the first time The Castle on the Hill singer has made the shortlist, whereas Alt-J will be hoping to collect their second Mercury crown.

The Hyundai Mercury Prize is there to recognise the best British album of the year. Jamie Callum, Ella Eyre, Lianne La Havas and Marcus Mumford are just four of the 12 judges who created the shortlist.

Revealing the shortlist, the judges said: “This year’s Hyundai Mercury Prize shortlist celebrates the remarkable power of British music.

“What these artists have in common is an infectious pleasure in music making and an arresting sense of urgency about the music they make.

“They delight in exploring musical possibilities and refusing to be pinned down by genre conventions.”

Last year the Mercury Prize was won by grime artist Skepta for his album Konnichiwa, beating David Bowie’s Blackstar.