The Popjustice
Twenty Quid
Music Prize

Celebrating greatness in pop since 2003

Twenty pound coins. Twelve shortlisted songs. One winner.

It’s really very simple.

Each year a panel of around 45 judges meets in a pub, considers twelve songs in a tour­na­ment-style smackdown debacle, and awards twenty quid to the song that’s still standing at closing time.

Also:

All the judges are Popjustice readers! This is why Louis Tomlinson will never win a Twenty Quid Music Prize.

And!

In the interests of moving Twenty Quid towards being self-sus­tain­ing, judges on the night are usually invited to vote in the Twenty Quid Invoice Prize, which is presented to the artist respons­ible for the year’s worst British pop single.

Carly Rae Jepsen is not eligible.

We’re asked every year. Carly Rae Jepsen is Canadian and is therefore unable to win the Twenty Quid Prize. Which is a shame because she’d have at least £60 by now.

Accept no imit­a­tions.

It has been noted by some observers that the Twenty Quid Music Prize takes place each year on the same night as the Mercury Music Prize, which famously awarded £20,000 to the act respons­ible for the year’s best British album. Please rest assured, this is nothing more than a coin­cid­ence.

707
minutes of
music

The average length of a Twenty Quid Music Prize shortlist is 44 minutes. The longest was 2006’s (48 minutes) and the shortest so far is 2013’s (42 minutes).

192
shortlisted
songs

Since 2003 Popjustice has short­l­is­ted 192 different British and Irish pop singles, or 191 if you discount the publicly nominated Lisa Scott-Lee one.

16
winners
to date

Well, it’s more like nine winners — Little Mix have won three times so far, and Girls Aloud won five prizes. The only male winners have been Zayn, Will Young and Example.

320
quids given
away

If we’d taken inflation into account the £20 prize should have risen to £30.71 by now. But we have not taken inflation into account.

Past winners

2018: Rita Ora — Anywhere

Shortlist: Love Lasts Forever by All Saints + One Kiss by Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa + Pat Earrings by CASISDEAD + Solo by Clean Bandit and Demi Lovato + Waking Up Slow by Gabrielle Aplin + Paradise by George Ezra + Falling Into Me by Let’s Eat Grandma + Word Of Mouth by Metroplane and Bree Runway + All Or Nothing by Naughty Boy, RAY BLK and Wyclef + Do It by Rae Morris + Anywhere by Rita Ora + Dancefloor by Tracey Thorn

2017: Little Mix — Touch

Shortlist: Danny L Harle ‘1UL’ + Louisa Johnson ‘Best Behaviour’ + Charli XCX ‘Boys’ + Calvin Harris and pals ‘Feels’ + KDA and Tinashe ‘Just Say’ + Disciples ‘On My Mind’ + Rae Morris ‘Reborn’ + Clean Bandit, Anne-Marie and Sean Paul ‘Rockabye’ + Steps ‘Scared Of The Dark’ + Ed Sheeran ‘Shape Of You’ + Niall Horan ‘Slow Hands’ + Little Mix ‘Touch’

2016: ZAYN — Pillowtalk

Shortlist: XYconstant feat Tom Aspaul ‘Do It Well’ + Clare Maguire ‘Elizabeth Taylor’ + Dua Lipa ‘Hotter Than Hell’ + Little Mix ‘Love Me Like You’ + The Rhythm Method ‘Party Politics’ + Zayn ‘Pillowtalk’ + Fleur East ‘Sax’ + The 1975 ‘Somebody Else’ + Ellie Goulding ‘Something In The Way You Move’ + Clean Bandit feat Louisa Johnson ‘Tears’ + Shura ‘What’s It Gonna Be’ + Olly Murs ‘You Don’t Know Love’

2015: Little Mix — Black Magic

Shortlist: XYconstant feat Tom Aspaul ‘Do It Well’ + Clare Maguire ‘Elizabeth Taylor’ + Dua Lipa ‘Hotter Than Hell’ + Little Mix ‘Love Me Like You’ + The Rhythm Method ‘Party Politics’ + Zayn ‘Pillowtalk’ + Fleur East ‘Sax’ + The 1975 ‘Somebody Else’ + Ellie Goulding ‘Something In The Way You Move’ + Clean Bandit feat Louisa Johnson ‘Tears’ + Shura ‘What’s It Gonna Be’ + Olly Murs ‘You Don’t Know Love’

2014: Little Mix — Move

Shortlist: Charli XCX ‘Boom Clap’ + Katy B ‘Crying For No Reason’ + Rita Ora ‘I Will Never Let You Down’ + One Direction ‘Story Of My Life’ + La Roux ‘Uptight Downtown’ + Jessie Ware ‘Tough Love’ + Years & Years ‘Take Shelter’ + Rixton ‘Me & My Broken Heart’ + Leona Lewis ‘One More Sleep’ + Ella Henderson ‘Ghost’ + Indiana ‘Solo Dancing’

2013: CHVRCHES — The Mother We Share

Shortlist: Charli XCX ‘Boom Clap’ + Katy B ‘Crying For No Reason’ + Rita Ora ‘I Will Never Let You Down’ + One Direction ‘Story Of My Life’ + La Roux ‘Uptight Downtown’ + Jessie Ware ‘Tough Love’ + Years & Years ‘Take Shelter’ + Rixton ‘Me & My Broken Heart’ + Leona Lewis ‘One More Sleep’ + Ella Henderson ‘Ghost’ + Indiana ‘Solo Dancing’

2012: Will Young — Jealousy

Shortlist: Lawson ‘Taking Over Me’ + Little Mix ‘Wings’ + Nero ‘Promises’ + Olly Murs feat Rizzle Kicks ‘Heart Skips A Beat’ + One Direction ‘What Makes Your Beautiful’ + Rizzle Kicks ‘Down With The Trumpets’ + Rudimental feat John Newman ‘Feel The Love’ + Saint Etienne ‘Tonight’ + Siobhan Dillon ‘Powerless’ + The Saturdays ‘All Fired Up’ + Will Young ‘Jealousy’ + Marina & The Diamonds ‘Power & Control’

2011: The Saturdays — Higher

Shortlist: Adele ‘Rolling In The Deep’ + Hurts ‘Stay’ + Jessie J ‘Do It Like A Dude’ + Joe McElderry ‘Ambitions’ + Mark Ronson & The Business Intl feat Boy George and Andrew Wyatt ‘Somebody To Love Me’ + Nadia Oh ‘Taking Over The Dancefloor’ + Nicola Roberts ‘Beat Of My Drum’ + The Saturdays ‘Higher’ + Sunday Girl ‘Stop Hey’ + Take That ‘The Flood’ + The Wanted ‘All Time Low’ + Yasmin ‘Finish Line’

2010: Example — Kickstarts

Shortlist: Alexandra Burke feat Flo Rida ‘Bad Boys’ + Sophie Ellis-Bextor ‘Bittersweet’ + Marina & The Diamonds ‘I Am Not A Robot’ + Mini Viva ‘I Wish’ + Groove Armada ‘I Won’t Kneel’ + Example ‘Kickstarts’ + Mini Viva ‘Left My Heart In Tokyo’ + Tinchy Stryder feat Amelle Berrabah ‘Never Leave You’ + Diana Vickers ‘Once’ + Mini Viva ‘One Touch’ + Nerina Pallot ‘Real Late Starter’ + Hurts ‘Wonderful Life’

2009: Girls Aloud — The Promise

Shortlist: JLS ‘Beat Again’ + Frankmusik ‘Better Off As Two’ + Calvin Harris ‘I’m Not Alone + La Roux ‘In For The Kill’ + Pet Shop Boys ‘Love Etc’ + Saint Etienne ‘Method Of Modern Love’ + Little Boots ‘New In Town’ + Tinchy Stryder feat Taio Cruz ‘Take Me Back’ + Girls Aloud ‘The Promise’ + The Saturdays ‘Up’ + Alesha Dixon ‘The Boy Does Nothing’ + Lily Allen ‘The Fear”

2008: Girls Aloud — Call The Shots

Shortlist: Goldfrapp ‘A&E’ + Sugababes ‘About You Now’ + Leona Lewis ‘Bleeding Love’ + Girls Aloud ‘Call The Shots’ + Dizzee Rascal feat Calvin Harris ‘Dance Wiv Me’ + Bloc Party ‘Flux’ + Daggers ‘Money’ + The Ting Tings ‘That’s Not My Name’ + Mark Ronson feat Amy Winehouse ‘Valeria’ + Hot Chip ‘Ready For The Floor’ + Groove Armada feat Mutya Buena ‘Song 4 Mutya (Out Of Control)’ + Little Boots ‘Stuck On Repeat’

2007: Amy Winehouse — Rehab

Shortlist: Calvin Harris ‘Acceptable In The 80s’ + Jamelia ‘Beware Of The Dog’ + Sophie Ellis-Bextor ‘Catch You’ + Siobhan Donaghy ‘Don’t Give It Up’ + Kate Nash ‘Foundations’ + Roisin Murphy ‘Overpowered’ + Robbie Williams ‘She’s Madonna’ + Boot Luv ‘Shine’ + Girls Aloud ‘Something Kinda Ooooh’ + Mark Ronson ‘Stop Me’ + Amy Winehouse ‘Rehab’ + Bodyrox feat Luciana ‘Yeah Yeah’

2006: Girls Aloud — Biology

Shortlist: Girls Aloud ‘Biology’ + Gorillaz ‘Dare’ + Ladytron ‘Destroy Everything You Touch’ + Rachel Stevens ‘I Said Never Again (But Here We Are)’ + Goldfrapp ‘Number One’ + Hot Chip ‘Over And Over’ + Sugababes ‘Push The Button’ + Lily Allen ‘Smile’ + Muse ‘Supermassive Black Hole’ + Matt Willis ‘Up All Night’ + Delays ‘Valentine’ + Will Young ‘Who Am I’

2005: Girls Aloud — Wake Me Up

Shortlist: Charlotte Church ‘Crazy Chick’ + Verbalicious ‘Don’t Play Nice’ + The 411 ‘Dumb’ + Kaiser Chiefs ‘Everyday I Love You Less And Less’ + Mylo ‘In My Arms’ + Shapeshifters ‘Lola’s Theme’ + Rachel Stevens ‘Negotiate With Love’ + Basement Jaxx ‘Oh My Gosh’ + Goldfrapp ‘Ooh La La’ + Uniting Nations ‘Out Of Touch’ + Robbie Williams ‘Radio’ + Girls Aloud “Wake Me Up’

2004: Rachel Stevens — Some Girls

Shortlist: Busted ‘Crashed The Wedding’ + McFly ‘5 Colours In Her Hair’ + Sugababes ‘Hole In The Head’ + Will Young ‘Leave Right Now’ + Emma Bunton ‘Maybe’ + Shaznay Lewis ‘Never Felt Like This Before’ + Girls Aloud ‘The Show’ + Rachel Stevens ‘Some Girls’ + Keane ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ + Jamelia ‘Superstar’ + Javine ‘Surrender’ + Rachel Stevens ‘Sweet Dreams My LA Ex’

2003: Girls Aloud — No Good Advice

Shortlist: Abs ‘Stop Sign’ + Amy Studt ‘Misfit’ + Busted ‘What I Go To School For’ + Daniel Bedingfield ‘If You’re Not The One’ + Girls Aloud ‘No Good Advice’ + Ladytron ‘Seventeen’ + Lisa Scott-Lee ‘Lately’ [Public choice] + Mis-teeq ‘Scandalous’ + Richard X vs Liberty X ‘Being Nobody’ + S Club Juniors ‘New Direction’ + S Club ‘Say Goodbye’ + Sugababes ‘Round Round’

2019 Shortlist

1. TBA

2. TBA

3. TBA

4. TBA

5. TBA

6. TBA

7. TBA

8. Something by The 1975

9. TBA

10. TBA

11. TBA

12. TBA

The next batch of short­l­is­ted songs won’t be announced until the summer of 2019.
 
The longlist is already underway and already contains 19 songs, three of which are by the same act.
 
This is all something of a relief because when it came to last year’s shortlist there were — HOW SHALL WE PUT THIS — slim pickings.

Songs are judged on qualities including tune, pro­duc­tion, lyrics, drama, deploy­ment of metaphor, and Congability™.

How To be A Judge

TWENTY QUID MUSIC PRIZE JUDGES ARE POPJUSTICE READERS WHO’VE APPLIED IN ADVANCE.

YOU ARE READING THIS, WHICH TICKS THE FIRST BOX.

If you’d like to join us on the night, email [email protected] and tell us everything you think we need to know about yourself, your life and your ‘debating’ ‘skills’.

If you’re selected to be a judge we’ll be in touch as the date approaches.

 

NOTES:

– You need to be over 18, or literally 18, because this will be in a pub.

– Please do not bring any animals.

– Due to the like­li­hood of Twenty Quid Music Prize judge duties inducing strong feelings of euphoria we do not recommend judging at the Twenty Quid Music Prize on an empty stomach.

Remember!

You can’t put a price on great pop.

But if you really have to, it’s £20.