Youssou N'Dour to Receive 2013 Polar Music Prize in Stockholm

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Tuesday August 27, 2013

From Nonesuch

Youssou N’Dour to Receive 2013 Polar Music Prize in Stockholm Concert Hall Ceremony

Youssou N’Dour is set to receive the 2013 Polar Music Prize in a gala ceremony that will take place at the Stockholm Concert Hall tonight. N’Dour, who released five albums on Nonesuch Records over the span of a decade, will be presented the prize by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, along with N’Dour’s fellow laureate, Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho. The prize ceremony will be broadcast live on Sweden’s TV4 starting at 5 PM this evening; a recap of the evening’s events, including interviews with the laureates, will be broadcast at 11 PM.

“A West African griot is not just a singer, but a story teller, poet, singer of praise, entertainer and verbal historian,” reads the Polar Music Prize citation. “Youssou N’Dour is maintaining the griot tradition and has shown that it can also be changed into a narrative about the entire world. With his exceptionally exuberant band Super Étoile de Dakar and his musically ground breaking and political solo albums, Youssou N’Dour has worked to reduce animosities between his own religion, Islam, and other religions. His voice encompasses an entire continent’s history and future, blood and love, dreams and power.”

The Polar Music Prize, an international music prize awarded to individuals, groups, or institutions in recognition of exceptional achievements, was founded in 1989 by the late Stig Anderson, publisher, lyricist and manager of the legendary pop group ABBA; it carries a monetary value of $1 million Swedish Kronor (approximately $153,000). Previous laureates include Kronos Quartet, Björk, Steve Reich, Joni Mitchell, Pierre Boulez, Bob Dylan, Renée Fleming, B. B. King, György Ligeti, Miriam Makeba, Sonny Rollins, Ravi Shankar, Isaac Stern, and a host of others representing a wide range of countries, cultures, and continents.

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