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25 May 2022

Iggy Pop Receives Prestigious Polar Music Prize

Iggy Pop
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Iggy Pop has been honoured with the Polar Music Prize. The former Stooges frontman was celebrated alongside the French contemporary classical ensemble, the Ensemble intercontemporain.

Both acts were presented with the 2022 accolade by King Carl XVI Gustaf at a gala ceremony at The Grand Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden, on Tuesday 24 May. The songwriter Diane Warren, who was awarded the Polar in 2020, was also presented with the honour after the ceremony was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Every year, the Polar Music prize honours two Laureates, one representing popular music and one classical. The ceremony was celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

On receiving the award, Iggy said: “Recognition is a hard mistress… Ada Osterberg, a Swedish émigré to the US, adopted my father James…[Ada] was a Red Cross nurse… and raised my dad during the great depression… These were great people. Real people.

“I am neither great nor real. At this point, I am a myth. Happily, music is a form of myth.. All beauty derives from believing in myth. But every so often, you gottta get real…Like balls. That’s how I got here. So when you think about music, when you think about this prize, and if you remember me, think about the balls.”

Matthias Pintscher, musical director, and Olivier Leymarie, director general, accepted the honour on behalf of Ensemble intercontemporain, said: “We would like to express our gratitude for receiving the Polar Music Prize and the recognition for our work and mission that comes with it. It is rare that a collective like ours is being awarded a prize of this highest prestige. It makes it extra special for us. We feel so honoured.

“To receive The Polar Music Prize, which has been awarded to some of the greatest musical icons, means to join a musical pantheon. The Ensemble is accepting this recognition with great joy, a recognition which is truly a reward, an honor that will encourage us to keep moving forward and continue to inspire other musical partners and creators all over the world.”

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