Chuck Berry Wins Nobel-Like Music Award

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Chuck Berry Wins Nobel-Like Music Award

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According to The Guardian, rock pioneer Chuck Berry, whose contributions to music set the scene for an entire generation of the art form, was made a laureate of the Polar Music Prize, the Swedish award founded in 1989 by the late Stig Anderson, who managed ABBA.

Up until now, I had never heard of this award, but I really like the idea. Like the Nobel, it is awarded for overall contributions, but this one fills a gap in recognition that other music organizations don't consider. For example, the big music academies tend to award for specific songs, albums, or artist/band achievement. There are also several lifetime achievement awards out there. Then there's the Germany-based Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, which is similar in nature but seems to focus more on orchestral and symphonic music and not modern popular music, though composers and conductors of these forms have been among Polar Music Award recipients.

Berry was joined this year by opera director Peter Sellars. Past recipients include Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, B.B. King, Yo-Yo Ma, and Elton John.

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