Metallica to receive the music world's 'Nobel Prize'
Metallica will receive the Polar Music Prize a prestigious honor from Sweden, dubbed as the ‘Nobel Prize of Music’ for helping "millions of listeners to transform their sense of alienation into a superpower.”
Throughout their career, Metallica have received dozens of awards, including nine Grammys, and now nearly 40 years into their career, Metallica will receive the Polar Music Prize a prestigious honor from Sweden, dubbed as the ‘Nobel Prize of Music’, reports Rolling Stone.
Metallica is one of two laureates for this year's Polar Music Prize, the other being the Afghanistan National Institute of Music. That’s right - they are being put on the same pedestal as the entire Institute of Music for a country!
The award is given to "celebrate music in all its various forms and to emphasize the original intention of the Polar Music Prize: to break down musical boundaries by bringing together people from all the different worlds of music.”
Metallica will receive an award of one million Swedish kronor, roughly equivalent to $126,000. The band will donate the money to its own All Within My Hands organization, which aids communities in need with workforce education, food-bank donations, and other local services.
On June 14th we will receive Sweden’s @PolarMusicPrize which awards two laureates in celebration of music in all its various genres. Honorees receive one million SEK which we will donate to @AWMHFoundation. We are truly humbled & inspired to be recognized in this manner! pic.twitter.com/oXkHySzah1— Metallica (@Metallica) February 14, 2018
"Not since Wagner's emotional turmoil and Tchaikovsky's cannons has anyone created music that is so physical and furious, and yet still so accessible," reads the statement on the Polar Music Prize's website. "Through virtuoso ensemble playing and its use of extremely accelerated tempos, Metallica has taken rock music to places it had never been before. In Metallica's world, both a teenage bedroom and a concert hall can be transformed into a Valhalla. The strength of the band's uncompromising albums has helped millions of listeners to transform their sense of alienation into a superpower.”
That’s high praise! And praise that is not wasted on founder and drummer of the band, Lars Ulrich. "It puts us in very distinguished company,” said Ulrich. "It's a great validation of everything that Metallica has done over the last 35 years. At the same time, we feel like we're in our prime with a lot of good years ahead of us.”
"I feel very honored to be in such great company with the others who have accepted the Polar Music Prize. As myself and as Metallica, I'm grateful to have this as part of our legacy, our history. Thank you,” said frontman James Hetfield.
Metallica now joins an elite cast of artists to have received the award, including Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, B.B. King, Chuck Berry, among others. This accolade wasn't lost on Robert Trujillo, who has been playing bass for Metallica since 2003. "Receiving the Polar Music Prize is such an honor, especially sharing it with [previous laureates] such as Joni Mitchell, Keith Jarrett, and Wayne Shorter, who I admire dearly… Hopefully, this will inspire younger generations of musicians to keep the music alive,” said Trujillo.
Metallica was formed in Los Angeles in 1981 and served as a precursor to the sound that would go on to be called 'thrash metal’. Along with Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax, they cemented themselves as ’The Big Four of Thrash Metal’.
Their fifth LP, The Black Album, sold more than 16 million copies and is the best-selling record of the past quarter-century. Undoubtedly, the band is one that belongs in history books, and the Polar Music Prize takes another step to ensure that they remain in there.
"It means a lot to me because we've been added to a list of very distinguished artists and musicians who I respect," chimed in lead guitarist Kirk Hammett. "And to be acknowledged for the work we've done. I know how important this is and how much of an honor it is."
The Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989 by former Abba manager Stig Anderson; its name comes from Anderson's Polar Music label. His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf will present Ulrich and Trujillo with the award on June 14.
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