Shortlist Prize Long On Big Names

Although the recipient of the Shortlist Music Prize won’t be announced until Nov. 11, as an indication of the event’s growing prestige, the Shortlist has already lined up judges and sponsors.

This year’s judges — or Listmakers, as they’re called — are Norah Jones, the Dixie Chicks, John Mayer, Jack Black, Jim Jarmusch, the Cure’s Robert Smith, System Of A Down’s Serj Tankian, Black Eyed Peas’, Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba, Massive Attack’s 3D and three returning names: Perry Farrell, Queens Of The Stone Age’s Josh Homme and the Roots’ ?uestlove.

MTV2 returns for the third time as TV sponsor, and XM Satellite Radio is this year’s radio partner. As it did last year, MTV2 will air a special on the Shortlist Prize that will include concert footage from the awards ceremony, which will take place at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles.

XM, in addition to presenting the winner with a $5,000 check, will add programming elements for the six weeks leading up to the awards.

“The growth we’re seeing is the size of the platform we’re able to offer the finalists,” awards co-founder Greg Spotts says. “Here we are just starting, and we’ve already cemented programming with two of the most progressive national [music] outlets.”

Providing exposure for emerging acts has been the goal since Spotts and co-founder Tom Sarig started the awards in 2001. “The world doesn’t need another ivory tower award that doesn’t mean anything,” Sarig says. “We wanted it to have practical goals that help break artists who are left of center.”

That was certainly the case with last year’s winner, Damien Rice. Sarig says Rice’s album “O” (Vector/Warner Bros.) had sold about 100,000 copies in the United States at the time it won last year. It has now sold 282,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

“Winning the award is another piece of the pie that shows he’s an artist to be reckoned with,” Sarig says.

The criteria for eligibility remain the same: any artist’s full-length release that came out between July 1, 2003, and June 30, 2004, that at the time of its nomination has not been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Listmakers submit up to seven albums. They then receive a list of all judges’ submissions and rank their 10 favorites. From that list, 10 finalists are determined and announced at the end of September.

Sarig says the Shortlist is also looking into a possible compilation album from the nominees and a tour.


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