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Dizzee Rascal Up for Mercury Prize; Helps U.K. Newspaper Find New Writers

British rapper Dizzee Rascal has had quite a run in the past couple of months. His World Cup anthem, ‘Shout for England,’ became a national sensation and now he’s been nominated for a Mercury Prize. The rapper has also launched a writing contest with The Sun to find fresh newspaper columnists for the future.

Rascal won his first Mercury Prize in 2003 for his debut album ‘Boy in da Corner’ and is apparently a heavy favorite this time around for his recent ‘Tongue N’ Cheek’ album. The Mercury Prize is the Brit equivalent to winning “Best Album” at the Grammy Awards. Over 200 selections are whittled down to a list of 12 contenders every year.

In addition to the nomination, Rascal has teamed with The Sun for an editorial contest called Column Idol, which is open to writers from 16 to 21 years of age. The winners will get published in the iconic paper — a huge opportunity for an aspiring author that wants to be read on a mass scale.

“Anything which gets kids to focus and use their creative juices is great,” he said in an official statement of support. “A newspaper like The Sun is informative and entertaining so that is exactly what your column needs to be. It is the same with music, you want to entertain people but tell them something at the same time. I reckon writing a column for The Sun is a bit like writing a pop song. People probably think it is easy but it’s not.”

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