Patti Smith at last year's Peace & Love festival in Borlänge.Photo:Niklas Larsson/Scanpix

Patti Smith gets Polar prize

Won for blending pop and poetry
3:40 min

American singer-songwriter and poet Patti Smith and American string quartet, Kronos Quartet, are the recipients of this year's Swedish Polar Music Prize.

The Laureates will receive the prize from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden at a ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on August 30. Patti Smith, who last year played at the Peace & Love festival in Borlänge will appear in concert on the 31st of August.

Smith, dubbed "the godmother of punk" is currently working on a crime novel set in London and Gothenburg in Sweden. Her most famous song "Because the night" was written with Bruce Springstein and she has been credited by REM's Michael Stipe as inspiring him as a youngster with her famous debut album "Horses." She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

The Polar Music Prize jury said of Smith:

"By devoting her life to art in all its forms, Patti Smith has demonstrated how much rock'n'roll there is in poetry and how much poetry there is in rock'n'roll. Patti Smith is a Rimbaud with Marshall amps. She has transformed the way an entire generation looks, thinks and dreams. With her inimitable soul of an artist, Patti Smith proves over and over again that people have the power,"  a play on the song title of another one of the 64 year old's famous songs

The Polar Music Prize also went to the american string foursome, Kronos Quartet, founded by violinist David harrington in 1973.

The prize jury said of its recipients:

"For almost 40 years, the Kronos Quartet has been revolutionizing the potential of the string quartet genre when it comes to both style and content. The same type of chamber music ensemble - two violins, a viola and a cello - for which Mozart and Beethoven wrote can also be used to comment on international politics, interpret avant-garde rock and incorporate music from every corner of the world."

The quartet have sold more than one and a half million records.

Both award winners receive one million kronor (165,000 US dollars.)

The Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989 by the late Stig ”Stikkan” Anderson,  the publisher, lyricist and manager of ABBA, and the name of the prize comes from Anderson’s record label, Polar Music.

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