Cork musician nominated for top album award

Mick Flannery, from Blarney, and Susan O'Neill are up for the 2021 RTÉ Choice Music Prize for their album 'In the Game'
Cork musician nominated for top album award

Mick Flannery and Susan O'Neill performed songs from the album at 'Other Voices: Courage', which took place in the Crawford Art Gallery.  Picture: Jim Coughlan.

A CORK musician has been shortlisted for this year's RTÉ Choice Music Prize.

Mick Flannery was nominated for the award for his 2021 album 'In the Game', which he created with Co Clare artist Susan O' Neill.

The collaboration marked the tenth album for the acclaimed singer-songwriter, who is originally from Blarney and formerly worked as a stonemason.

Flannery first began writing songs as a teenager in Cork before becoming the first Irish songwriter to win the Nashville-based International Songwriting Competition at age 19. He released his debut album at age 21.

Two of his other albums have been shortlisted for the Choice Music Prize before, including his 2009 album 'White Lies' and his self-titled album, released in 2020. 

Susan O'Neill, also known as SON, and Mick Flannery began working on the album during lockdown.
Susan O'Neill, also known as SON, and Mick Flannery began working on the album during lockdown.

Flannery and O'Neill began working together on 'In the Game' during lockdown and did a lot of their work on the album virtually.

Released in mid-2021, the album has been met with critical acclaim and the artists have performed on multiple television shows - and played the 2021 Cork Jazz Festival - since. 

Taking to Twitter, O' Neill said that she was "very grateful" for the Choice Music Prize nomination. The post was retweeted by Flannery.

The winning act will receive €10,000 from the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) and the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) and all shortlisted acts will receive a specially commissioned award.

Other nominees include Dublin acts Soda Blonde, For Those I Love, and Kojaque.

The winner will be announced on RTÉ 2FM during a special show taking place in Vicar Street in Dublin on March 3. Some of the nominated acts will perform on the night.

"The sheer quality of this year's RTÉ Choice Music Prize shortlist highlights the incredible standards now being reached routinely by musicians and artists in Ireland across a range of genres," said RTÉ 2FM's head of music Adam Fogarty.

"While it has been an extremely challenging year for the music industry, so many Irish artists, not just those who have made the shortlist, have used this time, much of it in the absence of live shows, to produce some incredible music."

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