The band Elbow won the Nationwide “Mercury Prize” for best British or Irish album in a surprise victory over the likes of Radiohead and “our favorite” darling Laura Marling.

The Mercury Prize has been awarded annually since 1992. While it is worth 20,000 pounds ($35,210), the increase in sales can add up to more. Sales of the nominated acts’ titles have increased fivefold in the weeks since the shortlist was announced.

Nationwide Building Society, the U.K.’s biggest customer- owned lender, sponsors the award. The judges chose from a shortlist of 12 before today’s ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.

The award focuses on the music — it does not take into account album sales, media exposure or live performances, according to a Nationwide Mercury fact sheet.

Among acts boosted by a Mercury Prize were rapper Dizzee Rascal (real name: Dylan Mills), who won in 2003 for “Boy in Da Corner,” and Badly Drawn Boy (a.k.a. Damon Gough), the 2000 winner for “The Hour of Bewilderbeast,” both on the independent XL Recordings label.

Previous hit albums that were nominated for the Mercury Prize but failed to win include Robbie Williams’s “Life Thru a Lens” in 1998, when the award went to “Bring It On” by Gomez, and “OK Computer” by Radiohead in 1997, beaten by Roni Size/Reprazent’s “New Forms.”.

The full shortlist was:
Burial “Untrue”
Elbow “The Seldom Seen Kid”
Radiohead “In Rainbows”
Laura Marling “Alas I Cannot Swim”
Rachel Unthank & the Winterset “The Bairns”
British Sea Power “Do You Like Rock Music?”
The Last Shadow Puppets “The Age of the Understatement”
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss “Raising Sand”
Neon Neon “Stainless Style”
Estelle “Shine”
Adele “19”
Portico Quartet “Knee-Deep in the North Sea” 33/1

Although Elbow had an incredible album “The Seldom Seen Kid”, did they forget about Radioheads (four time Mercury Prize nominees and still waiting for a win by the way) masterpiece “In Rainbows” but we’re just music heads so what do we know? (sarcasm)

Source: Bloomberg