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Sheku Kanneh-Mason: Teen cellist wins new Breakthrough music prize

Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Sheku Kanneh-Mason has become the first artist to receive a new breakthrough music prize.

The 19-year-old cellist has been given the Brit Certified Breakthrough Award for selling 30,000 copies of his debut album, Inspiration.

The certification is an extension of the platinum, gold and silver awards given in the music industry for a certain number of sales.

Kanneh-Mason said it felt “amazing” to be the first recipient of the prize.

The musician, from Nottingham, first came to the public’s attention as the winner of the BBC Young Musician 2016.

But his profile received a boost when he played at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in May.

  • A tale of two cellists
  • Royal wedding cellist gets chart boost

Inspiration, released in January, was recorded with the city of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and saw Kanneh-Mason perform a selection of his favourite music from Shostakovich to Bob Marley.

It’s the UK’s best selling classical album of the year so far, spending 13 weeks at number one on the classical charts.

It even broke through into the official albums chart, logging up seven weeks on the chart and peaking at number 11.

Kanneh-Mason said: “I’m still overwhelmed by the incredible response to the album from around the world. I’m so happy that people are continuing to enjoy my playing and I hope it encourages them to explore music further.”

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