SAMPA The Great has made history by being the first woman of colour to win the $30,000 Australian Music Prize.

“I didn’t see any of this in my periphery when coming to Australia,” the diminutive star said, clearly flabbergasted. “It really means a lot to me, thank you.”

Originally from Zambia, Sampa The Great beat out eight other albums to triumph with her cosmic jazz, new school hip hop, existential soul record The Birds and the BEE9.

Behind the scenes, judges voted 10 for Sampa The Great, 9 for Jen Cloher’s self-titled record. “I would have voted for Sampa,” said Cloher, graciously, who was also the first to give Sampa a standing ovation. The result feels fitting a day after International Women’s Day.

The result echoed 2014’s winner Remi for Raw X Infinity which beat CW Stoneking’s Gon Boogaloo by a solitary vote.
Rumours abound the prizemoney will increase to $40,000 in 2018.

PPCA’s Dan Rosen said: “I’ll put it to the board.”

Your scribe will apply gentle, unrelenting pressure.

The 13th AMP Shortlist in alphabetical order:

Beaches – ‘Second of Spring’
Darcy Baylis – ‘Intimacy & Isolation’
HTMLflowers – ‘Chrome Halo’
Jen Cloher – ‘Jen Cloher’
Jordan Rakei – ‘Wallflower’
Liars – ‘TFCF’
Paul Kelly – ‘Life is Fine’
Sampa The Great – ‘Birds and the BEE9’
The Vampires – ‘The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke’