Past winners include Paul McCartney, Dizzy Gillespie, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Burt Bacharach. The jury usually splits the prize between a pop artist, and a more classical composer. This year's poppier winner was Icelandic Björk. She started her musical career as a child star, before joining the band the Sugarcubes, and then going solo in the 1990's. Starting off as a mainstream chart star, with hits such as "Play Dead", "Human Behavior", "It's oh so quiet" and "Bachelorette", she has also both written the music for and performed in the musical "Dancer in the dark".
Head of the Polar Music Prize Committee, Alfons Karabuda says Björk was an obvious choice, calling her an inspiration for a whole generation of female singer-songwriters. She is the first Nordic artist to win a Polar Music Prize.
Ennio Morricone is the man behind film theme classics such as "The Good The Bad and The Ugly". Aged 82 he is still productive, writing scores for both films and tv series. Alfons Karabuda calls him "a personal favourite".
The prizes are worth about 130 thousand dollars each and will be awarded here in Stockholm in August.