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Kiwanuka reveals which football boss congratulated him after Mercury Prize win

He was announced as the winner of the award last month.

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Michael Kiwanuka won the 2020 Mercury Prize for his self-titled third album Kiwanuka (Ian West/PA)

Michael Kiwanuka won the 2020 Mercury Prize for his self-titled third album Kiwanuka (Ian West/PA)

Michael Kiwanuka won the 2020 Mercury Prize for his self-titled third album Kiwanuka (Ian West/PA)

Michael Kiwanuka has said he was contacted by Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho after he won the Mercury Prize last month.

The musician, who is from north London and supported the team as a child, told the BBC’s The Graham Norton Show it was “crazy” to be contacted by the manager.

He also told the programme the award, which recognises the best British album of the year, caused a major spike in sales of his self-titled third album Kiwanuka.

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Michael Kiwanuka performs during the filming for the Graham Norton Show (Matt Crossick/PA Media on behalf of So TV)

Michael Kiwanuka performs during the filming for the Graham Norton Show (Matt Crossick/PA Media on behalf of So TV)

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Michael Kiwanuka performs during the filming for the Graham Norton Show (Matt Crossick/PA Media on behalf of So TV)

“It gave it much more attention – it was the best way to get it out to people. Sales went up 6,000%,” he said.

“I even got a letter from Jose Mourinho congratulating me.

“My childhood team was Tottenham Hotspur so to get a letter from the manager was crazy.”

Earlier this month Kiwanuka jumped to fourth in the album chart.

To get a letter from the manager was crazyMichael Kiwanuka

The 33-year-old’s latest album originally reached number two in the charts after it was released in November 2019 to rave reviews.

Kiwanuka, from north London, took home the prize at the third time of asking after previously being nominated on two occasions and failing to win.

This year he saw off competition from Stormzy’s Heavy Is The Head and Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia.

Laura Marling, Kano, Lanterns On The Lake, Moses Boyd, Porridge Radio, Sports Team, Georgia, Charli XCX and Anna Meredith were also up for the award.

After being announced as the winner of the award on BBC’s The One Show last month, Kiwanuka said he wanted to express himself in the “truest way” with the album.

“When you are in a business like music, music is fun but when you are in kind of a more commercial setting, you have to be out there to the public,” he said.

“You can sometimes have a bit of an imposter syndrome or doubt yourself.”

He added this was “taking away from my experience of doing basically my dream job, so I made a decision when I was making this album to really just be myself and enjoy it and not hold back”.

The Graham Norton Show airs on BBC One on Friday at 10.45pm.

Online Editors