Choice Music Prize: CMAT’s If My Wife New I’d Be Dead wins album of the year

‘The word genius gets thrown around a lot of these these, but I think this finally proves I am one’

Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson, aka CMAT, has won RTE’s 18th annual Choice Music Prize album of the year award for If My Wife New I’d Be Dead.

The top award was announced at a live show at Dublin’s Vicar Street venue on Thursday evening.

CMAT could not attend due to touring commitments. Accepting it on her behalf, Irish drag queen Lavender read from her prepared speech.

“The word genius gets thrown around a lot these days,” the singer joked, “but I think this finally proves that I am one. If you had told me three years ago when I was working in Beweleys that I would win the Choice Music Prize for my first album I would have definitely believed you. Because I am delusional.”


She described it as an enormous honour and childhood dream, and thanked members of her family.

Earlier in the evening, Fontaines DC were crowned Irish artist of the year.

CMAT was among 10 nominees including Fontaines DC; Aoife Nessa Frances; Just Mustard; Dermot Kennedy; The Mary Wallopers; Anna Mieke; Pillow Queens; Sorcha Richardson; and Thumper.

The artists behind the Irish Album of the Year award, chosen by a panel of eleven Irish music media professionals and industry insiders, receive €10,000 funded by The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) and The Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA).

Sinéad O’Connor won the inaugural RTÉ Choice Music Prize Irish Classic Album with I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got.

Excepting the award which was presented by Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) music broadcaster Dave Fanning, O’Connor dedicated it to “each and every member of Ireland’s refugee community”. “You’re very welcome in Ireland. I love you very much and I wish you happiness.”

The judges said the 10 songs on her second album represented “a stunning body of work by an Irish artist, scorching with originality in songs that are as resonant today as they were more than 30 years ago.”

Other award recipients on the night included Cian Ducrot (Irish Breakthrough Artist) and Moncrieff (Irish song of the year for Warm).

The awards, celebrating the best in Irish recording artists, were broadcast live on RTÉ 2FM in a special four-hour show.

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times