Popjustice £20 Music Prize
The Popjustice £20 Music Prize, also known as the Popjustice Twenty Quid Prize, is an annual prize awarded by music website Popjustice to recognise the best British pop single of the previous year. The prize was conceived by Popjustice founder Peter Robinson in 2003 as a reaction to what he perceived as the pompous and elitist nature of the existing Mercury Prize, which recognises the best album of the previous year, and in particular its exclusion of pop music acts in favour of those from more esoteric genres. The shortlist for the Popjustice prize is announced in September of each year and the winner named the following month, to coincide with the presentation of the Mercury Prize. Popjustice gives a token prize of £20 to the winner of its award, in contrast to the £20,000 given to the winner of the Mercury Prize.
The winning entry is chosen by a panel of Popjustice readers, who apply for the position via the website. The judges meet in a pub to debate the merits of the songs shortlisted by Robinson and eliminate them, often based on bizarre or arbitrary criteria, until a winner is chosen. In 2009 Nicola Roberts of Girls Aloud attended the pub in person to collect the prize of a £20 note in a plastic container.
The first prize was awarded to Girls Aloud in 2003 for their single "No Good Advice", and the act went on to win the award four more times over the next six years; no other act had won more than once until Little Mix's second win in 2015. Girls Aloud have also received the most nominations, with eight. The next highest number of nominations for an act is four, shared by two acts, The Saturdays and Rachel Stevens. Both acts have received four nominations and won the prize once; Stevens was also nominated once as a member of the group S Club. In 2015, the winning song was "Black Magic" by Little Mix, the 8th time the award had been won by a British girl group, and the 7th by either Girls Aloud or Little Mix. The 2016 prize was won by ex One Direction singer ZAYN with his song Pillowtalk. Little Mix reclaimed the award in 2017. Rita Ora won in 2018 with her song Anywhere.
Most nominated artists
The following have received three or more nominations:
|Girls Aloud||8||2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013|
|Little Mix||6||2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017|
|Calvin Harris||5||2007, 2008, 2009, 2017, 2018|
|The Saturdays||4||2009, 2011, 2012, 2013|
|Rachel Stevens||4||2004 (two nominations), 2005, 2006|
|Olly Murs||4||2012, 2013, 2015, 2016|
|Goldfrapp||3||2005, 2006, 2008|
|Mini Viva||3||2010 (three nominations)|
|Sugababes||3||2004, 2006, 2008|
|Will Young||3||2004, 2006, 2012|
|Robbie Williams||3||2005, 2007, 2013|
|One Direction||3||2012, 2013, 2014|
|Marina and the Diamonds||3||2010, 2012, 2015|
|Mark Ronson||3||2008, 2011, 2015|
|Clean Bandit||3||2016, 2017, 2018|
- Corner, Lewis (30 October 2014). "Little Mix 'Move' wins popjustice 20 quid prize". Digital Spy. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- Robinson, Peter (31 October 2012). "The Popjustice Twenty Quid Music prize: more exciting than the Mercury". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
- Corner, Lewis (12 September 2013). "Girls Aloud, MKS, Little Mix, 1D for Popjustice 20 Quid Music Prize". Digital Spy. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- Savage, Mark (10 September 2008). "Girls Aloud win £20 single prize". BBC. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- Fletcher, Alex (9 September 2009). "Girls Aloud win fifth Popjustice prize". Digital Spy. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- Savage, Mark (9 September 2009). "Girls Aloud star takes £20 prize". BBC. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- Brad O'Mance. "Little Mix's 'Black Magic' has won the 2015 Twenty Quid Music Prize - Popjustice". Popjustice.
- "The Popjustice Twenty Quid Music Prize". Popjustice. Retrieved 14 February 2014.