Mercury Music Prize: The previous winners

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The Independent Culture

Seen by many as an ironic curse, the annual Mercury Music Prize has offered that 'big break' to many new artists.

Unfortunately it has also led to the untimely demise of others.

Launched in 1992 as an alternative to the commercial, and at times out of touch, BRIT Awards, the Mercury Prize has caused a lot of controversy in its 18 year history.

With the shortlist for the 2010 prize being announced tomorrow, we took a look at the past winners, examining what their Mercury success meant for them - either elevation to the heights of chart untouchables, or a consignment to the depths of music industry oblivion.

Click HERE to launch our guide to the Mercury Music Prize