Katy B’s friends knew she was nominated for the Barclaycard Mercury Prize before she did.

The ‘Easy Please Me’ singer is one of 12 artists nominated for the coveted award in 2011, and wasn’t expecting to make the shortlist, although her friends ruined the surprise when she went to find out.

She said: “It’s fantastic to be nominated, but you don’t get your hopes up or anything at all, so when I got out of the car to go to the nomination thing, my friends started texting me – they knew before I did!”

Joining Katy in the running for this year’s award are: Adele, Tinie Tempah, Anna Calvi, Metronomy, Everything Everything, PJ Harvey, Ghostpoet, Elbow, Gwilym Simcock, James Blake and King Creosote and Jon Hopkins.

Although the award is based in the UK, Metronomy said they have been surprised by how much international exposure it gets and how highly it is regarded in other countries.

Bassist Gbenga Adelekan said: “The thing that we’ve noticed is how much note people take of it in other countries, like the states and South America, and even in other European countries.”

Meanwhile Everything Everything said the acts to appear on the shortlist surprised them, making them feel extra proud of being included.

They said: “We were definitely expecting Wild Beasts to be on the list. We felt very lucky to be included, as a lot of acts which we thought [would definitely be nominated] were not on the list.”

The winner of the Barclaycard Mercury Prize will be announced tonight (06.09.11).