Angelique Kidjo Becomes The Third African To Receive The Polar Music Prize
Angelique Kidjo, a multi-award-winning Beninese music legend, is just the third African to receive the coveted Polar Music Prize.
By Omotayo Olutekunbi
The Polar Music Prize, sometimes known as the Nobel Prize in Music, is a Swedish worldwide prize established in 1989 with a grant to the Royal Swedish Academy of Music by Stig Anderson, widely known as the manager of the Swedish band ABBA. The prize is presented to one modern musician and one classical musician each year.
The Polar Music Prize has been presented to a number of renowned performers throughout the years, including BB King, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, and many more.
Angelina Kidjo, a music icon from Benin Republic, has been named the newest laureate of the Polar Music Award. She was named the champion of the 2023 competition alongside Chris Blackwell of the United Kingdom and Arvo Pärt of Estonia.
Angelique Kidjo commented on the award:
“To be awarded the Polar Music Prize is humbling. I have no words to say how important this is for me. It comes with a sense of responsibility that is bestowed upon me as an artist to continue to do great work. I will do my best to be a proud recipient of the Prize through my work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, on behalf of the children, and as an ambassador of music, to help create a world in which we can all live in peace.”
Kidjo is the only African to have received the Polar Music Award, joining South African Mariam Makeba in 2002 and Senegalese Youssou N’dour in 2013.
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