Published Jan 17, 2007Sufjan Stevens is the first official winner of the New Pantheon Award for his 2005 album Illinois. The state-obsessed folkster beat out stiff competition from the Arcade Fire, Bloc Party and M.I.A. in a ceremony on March 31, taking home a prize of $5,000. The award was instituted this year to replace the now-defunct Shortlist Prize to recognise the most noteworthy albums of the year to sell less than 500,000 copies. Meanwhile, garage punks the Drones won the Australian Music Prize, the Aussie version of the Mercury Prize, prevailing over Wolfmother and the Go Betweens with last years Wait Long By the River and the Bodies of Your Enemies Will Float By.