Metallica will be honored this June as they receive the prestigious Polar Music Prize for 2018. The Swedish international award is known as “The Nobel Prize of Music.”
“Receiving the Polar Music Prize is an incredible thing. It puts us in very distinguished company” said Metallica co-founder and drummer Lars 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.”
Sweden’s Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989 by Stig Anderson to celebrate the power and importance of music, with Paul McCartney and the Baltic States named as the first awardees. Recipients are awarded $125,000, which Metallica will donate to their “All Within Our Hands” foundation.
The 2017 recipients were Sting and Wayne Shorter. Other recipients included Emmylou Harris, B.B. King, Bjork, Paul Simon, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder and Bob Dylan.
Through virtuoso ensemble playing and its use of extremely accelerated tempos, Metallica has taken rock music to places it had never been before,” reads a statement on the Polar Music Prize website. “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.”
Metallica front man James Hetfield-who is set to star with Zac Efron in the upcoming Ted Bundy movie, “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile”– said receiving the honor is overwhelming.
“I feel very honored to be in such great company with the others who have accepted the Polar Music Prize,” he said. “As myself and as Metallica I’m grateful to have this as part of our legacy, our history.”