LONDON, UK Friday Sep.9.2005 /netmusiccountdown.com/ -- Antony Hegarty who records under the name Antony and the Johnsons is this year's Mercury Prize winner.

The British-born, US-based singer-songwriter won for his album "I Am A Bird Now," edging out other nominees including Coldplay, Bloc Party and the Kaiser Chiefs.

Antony and the Johnsons' winning album, "I Am A Bird Now," is the artist's second full-length album andRufus Wainwright, Devendra, Lou Reed and Boy George make guest appearances on the disc.

After realizing he'd won the Mercury Prize, Antony said, "I think they must have made a mistake. I am completely overwhelmed. I think that's insane. It's kind of like a crazy contest between an orange and a spaceship and a potted plant and a spoon - which one do you like better?"

The Mercury Prize is awarded for the UK's album of the year, and the winner receives a cash prize of 20,000 pounds.

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