Today, the shortlist for the 2017 prize was announced and includes some of the world's biggest acts, as well as a few that may not be as recognizable on this side of the pond.
Sheeran is nominated for the first time behind his massively successful ÷ LP, which became the fastest-selling pop album by a male artist in United Kingdom history earlier this year.
After the full nominations were announced earlier this morning (July 27), William Hill has both Stormzy and Sampha at 4/1 to win the prestigious annual prize, which recognises the best album from the United Kingdom and Ireland over the past year.
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The Hyundai Mercury Prize is there to recognise the best British album of the year. On the other end of the musical spectrum, the Mercury Prize committee also picked the grime MC Stormzy (Gang Signs & Prayer), the rapper/singer J Hus (Common Sense) and the spoken-word poet Kate Tempest (Let Them Eat Chaos). Kate Tempest, J Hus, Glass Animals, Blossoms, Dinosaur, Loyle Carner and the Big Moon round out the competition. Jamie Callum, Ella Eyre, Lianne La Havas and Marcus Mumford are just four of the 12 judges who created the shortlist.
In a statement, organisers explained: "What these artists have in common is an infectious pleasure in music making and an arresting sense of urgency about the music they make".
The victor will announced on 14 September and be awarded £25,000.