The Australian Music Prize, the annual gong given to the best album of the year as decided by a panel of industry figures, has today been won by singer-songwriter Sampa The Great for her scintillating LP Birds and the Bee9.

The Zamibian born African-Australian, known for her powerful lyricism and R&B infused rap stylings, beat out such finalists as Paul Kelly and Jen Cloher to take home the $30,000 prize.

Drenched in a diverse soundscape featuring soul, reggae and traditional African beats Birds and the Bee9 dropped late last yearimmediately enthralling fans and critics alike.

Previous winners of the AMP include A.B. Original, Big Scary and Courtney Barnett.

Image: Getty Images / Marc Grimwade