Artist News Awards

Grandmaster Flash among winners of this year’s Polar Music Prize

By | Published on Thursday 14 February 2019

Grandmaster Flash

Grandmaster Flash, violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and music charity The Playing For Change Foundation have been named the winners of this year’s Polar Music Prize. Presented by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, each winner receives one million Swedish kroner. That’s about £86,000 in pre-Brexit money.

“It is such an honour, because a lot of times in our culture, what we do as DJs gets overlooked”, says Grandmaster Flash. “So for these people to say, let’s give this to someone who doesn’t necessarily use a microphone as their gift – for me to be picked out of so many people, I am so, so deeply honoured”.

Representing more traditional musicians, Mutter adds: “It is a huge honour to be in this illustrious group of musicians who have received the Polar Music Prize. I’m deeply honoured and humbled and I can’t wait to come to Stockholm and meet the other recipients”.

I think it’s safe to say everyone feels honoured. The annual prize is usually handed to two musicians, so the inclusion of a third winner this year – and that then being a music charity – is a double wildcard.

Co-founder of The Playing For Change Foundation, Whitney Kroenke, says: “This is incredibly humbling and mind-blowing – we are ecstatic. We started the project so that musicians that would not otherwise be seen or heard would have the chance to express themselves and be recognised. To be in the company of people that have made us all love music for so many years, is truly an honour”.

Phew, for a minute there I thought she was going to let the side down by not being honoured. Anyway, the prizes will be formally handed out on 11 Jun. What an honour.