Choice Music Prize
|Choice Music Prize|
Choice Music Prize logo
|Awarded for||Best album from the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland|
|Location||Vicar Street, Dublin, Republic of Ireland|
|Presented by||IRMA, IMRO and RAAP|
The awards ceremony is occasionally broadcast on Today FM every March with the exception of the 2014 ceremony which took place on February 27, 2014 and it is also held in Vicar Street, Dublin with the exception of the 2012 ceremony which was held in the Olympia Theatre (Dublin).
The current M.C. or master of ceremonies overseeing the award ceremony is Today FM DJ, Paul McLoone who has presented it for the last three years, McLoone beginning as M.C. in 2012 although he has been personally involved in the awards since they first began in 2005. Previous presenters of the ceremony have been Michelle Doherty, Rigsy and Alison Curtis.
Aim of the awards
- The aim of the Choice Music Prize, is to get more airplay for Irish acts both domestically and overseas. [...] Previous winners of the prize have only good things to say about the experience. "It was a strange thing" remembers Cormac Brady of Super Extra Bonus Party. "It's not something we ever expected to happen to us. Winning awards certainly wasn't what we got into music for, but it brought us a hell of a lot more recognition overnight and opened a lot of doors". Julie Feeney concurs. "It was probably the biggest achievement of my life" she says. "It meant a phenomenal amount to me. It was an enormous validation." as an alternative to the industry-dominated Meteor Music Awards. The Choice Music Prize is modelled after the Mercury Prize which is awarded each year to the best album from the United Kingdom or Ireland. It is a music award voted for by a panel of twelve judges based on artistic merit, regardless of genre, sales, or record label. The price includes a €10,000 cheque jointly funded by the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) and the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA). There is no sponsorship.
Initially considered by co-founder Carroll as a "titchy little maverick event", the Choice Music Prize has gained a reputation for producing "unpredictable" winners. Winners thus far consist of one solo female performer, four bands and one solo male performer. Julie Feeney won the inaugural prize for Irish Album of the Year 2005. She was followed by The Divine Comedy, Super Extra Bonus Party and Jape, winners of Irish Album of the Year 2006, 2007 and 2008 respectively. Adrian Crowley won Irish Album of the Year 2009, while Two Door Cinema Club won Irish Album of the Year 2010.
The ceremony to announce the winner takes place at Vicar Street, Dublin in February or March each year. Originally presented by Michelle Doherty and Rigsy, and also by Alison Curtis., Today FM DJ Paul McLoone has presented the awards since 2012 and to this day, remains the current host or M.C.- master of ceremonies for the prize giving ceremony. It has also been broadcast live since its inception on national radio station Today FM. The nominated acts are invited to perform in front of a live audience at the ceremony. However, some nominated acts, such as The Chalets, Fionn Regan, Snow Patrol, Lisa Hannigan, Oppenheimer, Bell X1 and Laura Izibor, have not performed in the past due to other commitments. David Holmes (musician) and The Script also did not perform when nominated, though Holmes and Danny O'Donoghue attended the ceremony. The judging panel is locked in an enclosed room during the performances on the night to debate over which act ought to win with Irish journalist Tony Clayton Lea as the Chairman of the Judging Panel and who is also tasked with helping the panel come to a decision where they all select the one musician or band who will win the Prize. A secret ballot was used to decide the winner of Irish Album of the Year 2008, Ritual.
Past winners and nominees have credited the Choice Music Prize with boosting their careers. Julie Feeney described winning Irish Album of the Year 2005 as "probably the biggest achievement of my life", adding "it meant a phenomenal amount to me. It was an enormous validation". Duke Special, nominated for the first two awards, said his nomination for the inaugural award had helped raise his profile in the Irish media. Cormac Brady stated Super Extra Bonus Party's Irish Album of the Year 2007 win "brought us a hell of a lot more recognition overnight and opened a lot of doors". Nominees have doubled or trebled sales after the award has been announced. Steve Jordan was influenced by the Choice Music Prize when he set up Canada's Polaris Music Prize. Culture Ireland invited figures from the international music industry to the event that decided the Irish Album of the Year 2010.
It was announced on Monday 10 October 2011 that Meteor had become the official sponsor of the award, having previously sponsored the Ireland Music Awards. In the run-up to the nominees (to be announced on 11 January 2012), both the award organisers and Meteor promised to present a number of live performances showcasing what they considered some of the best albums from 2011. Meteor Choice Music Prize Presents... began on 1 November 2011 with a live performance by Snow Patrol at Dublin's Button Factory, and was followed by a live performance from Lisa Hannigan and James Vincent McMorrow on 8 December 2011, also in Dublin's Button Factory.
Winners and shortlisted nominees
|Year||Winner||Album||Shortlisted nominees & albums||Judges||Ref(s)|
|2005||Julie Feeney||13 songs|
|2006||The Divine Comedy||Victory for the Comic Muse||
|2007||Super Extra Bonus Party||Super Extra Bonus Party||
|2009||Adrian Crowley||Season of the Sparks||
|2010||Two Door Cinema Club||Tourist History||
|2011 (broadcast live on Today FM. This also marks Paul McLoone's debut appearance as the M.C. for the awards ceremony).||Jape||Ocean of Frequency||
|2012 (held on March 7, 2013 and also broadcast live on Today FM from 7pm- midnight).||Delorentos||Little Sparks||
|2013 (hold on February 27, 2014 and also broadcast live on Today FM from 7pm- midnight).||Villagers (band)||Awayland||
|2014 (held on March 5, 2015 and also broadcast live on Today FM from 7pm- midnight).||The Gloaming (group)||The Gloaming|
In order to be considered for the Choice Music Prize a release must meet all of the following conditions:
- All albums must have been released for the very first time in Ireland in the previous calendar year. This means that the album must have been made available for purchase by the general public (in shops, at gigs or on websites) for the very first time in Ireland (i.e. Republic of Ireland and/or Northern Ireland) between 1 January and 31 December of that year.
- Re-issues, multi-artist compilations, live albums and Best Of collections are not eligible
- The artist(s) in question must have been born in Ireland (i.e. Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland) and/or hold an Irish passport. Bands are eligible to be nominated if the majority of the band members were born in Ireland (i.e. Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland) and/or hold an Irish passport.
- For the purposes of the Choice Music Prize, an album must contain six or more tracks and/or be over 33 minutes and 20 seconds in length.
There is no formal application process for the Choice Music Prize. Once an album meets the above criteria, it is eligible to be considered by the judges for selection.
|“||It's not about the best debut album or the best out-there album or the best pop album or the best album by an old-timer — it's the album that you, the judges, believe best sums up the previous year in Irish music, made by the act you, the judges, believe best represents Irish music and the Choice Music Prize right now.
— E-mail reminder sent to judges of Irish Album of the Year 2008.
- Mercury Prize (United Kingdom)
- Polaris Music Prize (Canada)
- Australian Music Prize (Australia)
- Prix Constantin (France)
- Shortlist Music Prize (United States)
- Nordic Music Prize (Nordic countries)
- John Meagher (15 February 2008). "Choice Cuts". Irish Independent. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- Eamon Sweeney (1 March 2010). "A Prize debate". Irish Independent. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- Fiona McCann (28 February 2008). "Surprise Choice victory for Kildare band". The Irish Times. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
With no commercial input or sponsorship, it is designed to highlight Irish albums released over the preceding year which, according to its website, "deserve some extra time in the spotlight". At 12-1 odds going into the evening, Super Extra Bonus Party were an unexpected choice, beating favourite Cathy Davey for the prestigious prize, which has become renowned for being unpredictable. [...] The judging panel, which this year included 2FM's Dan Hegarty, Anne Marie Kelly from Today FM and Sunday Tribune journalist Una Mullally, debate the entries in a secluded room during the artists' performances, revealing their choice at the end of the night.
- Eoin Butler (15 January 2009). "Choice script upset by inclusion of . . . The Script". The Irish Times. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- Brian Boyd (4 March 2010). "Crowley's 'Season of Sparks' provides the heat at Choice Music Prize". The Irish Times. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
The Choice is viewed as an alternative to the more mainstream Meteor Awards, which took place last month.
- Brian Boyd (6 March 2010). "Season in the sun". The Irish Times. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
Crowley has been around long enough to know that the Choice Music Prize award won’t mean he’ll be challenging Jedward for press coverage anytime soon. The Choice – Ireland’s answer to the UK’s Mercury Music Prize – is an “alternative” award to the chart-driven likes of the Meteors and the Brits. Many of the albums that have been nominated for the award over its five-year existence have been self-released and would never have been commercial “hits” by any stretch of the imagination.
- Ed Power (25 July 2009). "Mercury is rising for our sensitive songbird". Irish Independent. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
At the Mercurys, we are told, quality is what really counts (a similar independence of spirit informs its Irish equivalent, the Choice prize).
- "Delorentos favourites to win Choice Music Prize". Irish Examiner. 10 January 2008. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
The Choice Music Prize, seen as the Irish equivalent to the Mercury Music Prize, will take place in Vicar Street on February 27.
- John Meagher (10 January 2008). "Music gurus shun household names". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
Three other top names - The Thrills, Damien Dempsey and Declan O'Rourke - also failed to make the shortlist of 10 for the Choice Music Prize, regarded as the Irish equivalent of the Mercury Music Prize.
- "New Irish music award launched". RTÉ Entertainment. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 29 November 2005. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- "Dublin musician Jape wins Choice Music Prize". Irish Examiner. 5 March 2009. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
He wins a cheque for €10,000 and a specially-commissioned award.
- "Shock result in Choice Music Prize". RTÉ Entertainment. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 28 February 2008. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
Super Extra Bonus Party receive a cheque for €10,000 and a specially commissioned award.
- "Choice Music Prize Shortlist". Hot Press. 14 January 2009. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
The shortlist has been announced for the fourth annual Choice Music Prize, which is worth a cool €10,000 to the winners.
- "Jape album wins Choice Music Prize". RTÉ Entertainment. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 5 March 2009. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
Egan receives a cheque for €10,000, provided by the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) and the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA), and a specially commissioned award.
- "Dublin musician Jape wins Choice Music Prize". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. 5 March 2009. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
He wins a cheque for €10,000 and a specially-commissioned award.
- Caitrina Cody (5 March 2009). "Jolly Jape admits he's surprised to scoop Choice gong". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
"Our titchy little maverick event has morphed into an event that is prominent on the musical scene," said co-founder of the Choice Music Prize, Jim Carroll.
- Brian Boyd (5 March 2009). "Jape the surprise choice as Ritual takes the plaudits". The Irish Times. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
The Choice Prize, now in its fourth year, generally rewards critical acclaim over sheer commercial sales and has thrown up some surprising winners over the years. Jape/Richie Egan was not the bookie’s favourite to win this year.
- "Rigsy & Michelle Doherty host live event.". Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO). 27 March 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
The BBC’s David ‘Rigsy’ O’Reilly & Channel 6’s Michelle Doherty will host the Choice Music Prize – Irish Album Of The Year live event in Vicar Street, Dublin on 28 February 2006. [...] The event will be broadcast live on the night by Pet Sounds on Today FM.[dead link]
- Brian Boyd (5 March 2009). "Dublin band Jape wins overall prize at Choice Music awards". The Irish Times. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
Many of the shortlisted acts played live last night to a capacity crowd in a show that was hosted by DJ Alison Curtis and broadcast live on Today FM. The ten judges finally came up with an overall winner at 10.30pm. [...] Such was the closeness of the vote that the judges finally decided on a secret ballot to come up with the winner.
- "Choice Music Prize - Shortlist Announced". Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO). 15 January 2009. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
The overall Album of the Year will be selected by this judging panel at the Choice Music Prize event at Vicar Street, Dublin on Wednesday 4 March. The event will be presented as a special live broadcast on Today FM.[dead link]
- Shelley Marsden (10 January 2007). "The shortlist has been announced for the third Choice Music Prize in Ireland". The Irish World. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
The event will be live on Today FM as part of a “Tom Dunne Presents the Choice Music Prize” special broadcast.
- "Choice Music Prize tickets go on sale". RTÉ Entertainment. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 7 February 2006. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
Nine of the ten acts on the Choice Music Prize shortlist will attend and perform live - the only absentee being The Chalets, who will be on tour in Europe with the Kaiser Chiefs.
- "Choice Music Prize for The Divine Comedy". RTÉ Entertainment. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 1 March 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
The other two shortlisted acts, Fionn Regan and Snow Patrol, were unable to attend the ceremony due to touring commitments in Australia and the US respectively.
- Colin Gleeson (4 March 2010). "Sparky rock singer scoops top album title". Irish Independent (Independent News & Media). Retrieved 4 March 2010.
- "UPDATED: Jape wins 2009 Choice Music Prize". Hot Press. 5 March 2009. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
Although The Script and David Holmes did not perform tracks from their nominated albums, both Holmes and Script singer Danny were at the show, and seemed in top form. Lisa Hannigan and Oppenheimer were unable to attend due to touring commitments.
- Una Mullally (18 February 2007). "Who wins? You don't decide. . .". Sunday Tribune. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
For Duke Special, it's his second nomination, having also made the shortlist last year. The Choice Music Prize has definitely made a difference to his profile. "Last year, it was one of the things that, along with touring loads and loads, got people talking about the record. The best thing for me was that newspapers and radio were talking about it and playing it for the first time. That was a real turning point for me - it can't be underestimated the impact that [getting nominated] has."
- Jeananne Craig (4 March 2010). "Crowley wins €10k Choice music award". Evening Herald. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
According to industry estimates, Choice-nominated acts can expect at least a doubling or even trebling in sales of their record over coming day and weeks.
- McLean, Steve (2 June 2006). "The Polaris Music Prize Will Go To Canada's Best Album". Chart. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
While the Mercury Prize was the first of its kind, the U.S. had the Shortlist Music Prize until it was replaced this year by the New Pantheon Music Award. Australia has recently launched the Australian Music Prize and Ireland has created the Choice Music Award. "I was talking to the directors of both of those over the past few months to compare notes," says Jordan. "They were in a similar situation. "They had the idea five years ago and had been working on it piecemeal to get it to the point where it could come off. It was good to know that I wasn't alone in taking so long to make it happen."
- Brian Boyd (4 March 2011). "Bangor band wins top music prize". The Irish Times. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
There was an international dimension to last night’s ceremony with Culture Ireland (a State agency for the promotion of Irish arts worldwide) inviting over some key international music industry press, promoters and publishers to attend the event.
- "Choice Music nominees announced". RTÉ Entertainment. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 15 January 2009. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- Charlie Taylor (13 January 2010). "Bell X1 on Choice prize shortlist". The Irish Times. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- Anna Forbes (3 March 2011). "Choice Music Prize Preview". State. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
- "Choice Prize Shortlist Announced". RTÉ Ten (Raidió Teilifís Éireann). 11 January 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
- "Julie Feeney takes the Choice Music Prize". RTÉ Entertainment. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 1 March 2006. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- "Super Extra Bonus Party win Choice Music Prize". Irish Independent (Independent News & Media). 28 February 2008. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- "Adrian Crowley wins the Choice Music Prize!". Hot Press. 3 March 2010. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- Adelina Campos (4 March 2011). "Choice Music Prize is won by Two Door Cinema Club". Evening Herald (Independent News & Media). Retrieved 4 March 2011.
- John Meagher (13 February 2009). "Loaded: 13/02/2009". Irish Independent. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- Choice Music Prize official site
- Choice Music Prize category at "On the Record" (blog of co-founder Jim Carroll on The Irish Times website)
- Choice Music Prize page of broadcaster Today FM
- Irish Recording Music Association (IRMA)
- Recorded Artists Actors Performance (RAAP)
- Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO)