three decades later Paul McCartney and new independents Baltic countries received the first Polar Music Prizes in 1992, the 30th anniversary ceremony took place in Stockholm on Tuesday May 24, with the winners Iggy Pop, Intercontemporary Ensemble and Diane Warren all receiving their awards from King Carl XVI Gustaf at the Grand Hotel in the Scandinavian town.
Punk godfather Iggy Pop and Parisian classical music collective Ensemble Intercontemporain are the 2022 Laureates. spread around the world.
During the royal ceremony in the late afternoon, Warren was the first honoree to stand before the king and receive a standing ovation from attendees who were well aware that she had waited two years to enjoy this moment. “I have always considered my songs as a passport,” she said in her acceptance speech. “They took me, a kid from Van Nuys, California, with a wild dream of becoming a songwriter, to so many places I could only imagine going, to the voices of some of the greatest singers of the planet, to the hearts of people I’ll never know, all over the world, that my songs touched and somehow became part of the soundtrack of their lives. At this point, it stopped and looked up from her grades and confessed, “I’m getting really emotional.” Then she talked about bribing her dad into agreeing not to fail her classes for a semester so he’d buy her a 12-string guitar and a subscription to Billboard when she was 14 (and then failed her classes the following semester).
The next prize was awarded by the King to Matthias Pintscher, musical director, and Olivier Leymarie, general manager of the Ensemble Intercontemporain.
“Rarely has a collective like ours received an award of this highest prestige,” Pintscher said in an acceptance speech. “It is particularly meaningful for us to receive the Polar Music Prize here in Sweden, the country of Ingmar Bergman, Astrid Lindgren… and ABBA, of course – a democratic and open-minded country and a model of foreground for all other countries.”
Next, James Newell Osterberg, Jr. was called to the stage. Known to the world as Iggy Pop, he received a long standing ovation before saying a word. He choked on talking about his parents, calling them ‘great people’ and ‘real people’, then adding, ‘I’m not big or real. I’m in show biz. At this point, I’m a myth. Fortunately, music is a form of myth as children are mythical. All beauty comes from believing in myth, but every once in a while you have to get real… like bullets. That’s how I got here. So when you think of music, when you think of this Award, and if you remember me, think of balls.
These three winners are the latest winners to win the award founded by ABBA manager, music publisher and lyricist Stig “Stikkan” Anderson. Anderson petitioned the Nobel Prize committee in the late 1980s to add a music prize. When his idea was rejected, Anderson created his own prize, the Polar Music Prize.
Marie Ledin, chief executive of the Polar Music Prize and daughter of the late Stig Anderson, spoke at the royal banquet on Tuesday evening, which followed the ceremony. She thanked the Royal Family for their continued support of the award and added that she and her brothers Lasse and Anders wanted to honor the memory of their father as well as their mother, Gudrun.
Over the past 30 years, the award has been given to many of the world’s greatest pop and classic artists, including Bruce Springsteen, Emmylou Harris, BB King, Ennio Morricone, Sting, Renée Fleming, Elton John, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin , Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, Quincy Jones, Joni Mitchell, Yo-Yo Ma, Max Martin, Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry, Stevie Wonder, Patti Smith, Wayne Shorter, Björk, Metallica, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Ray Charles, Grandmaster Flash and Isaac Sterne.