Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf presented the Polar Music Prize to Iggy Pop at a gala ceremony held at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden, on Tuesday, May 24.
“Recognition is a hard mistress,” Pop said in his acceptance speech. Referring to his Swedish connections, the punk legend added, “Ada Osterberg, a Swedish émigré to the U.S., adopted my father James…[Ada] was a Red Cross nurse and raised my dad during the great depression… These were great people, real people.”
“I am neither great nor real. At this point, I am a myth,” he continued. “Happily, music is a form of myth. All beauty derives from believing in myth. But every so often, you gotta get real — like balls. That’s how I got here. So when you think about music, when you think about this prize and if you remember me, think about the balls.”
Parisian classical musical collective Ensemble Intercontemporain, Iggy Pop’s joint 2022 Laureate, and Diane Warren, the winner of the award in 2020, were also presented the Polar Music Prize.
The 2020 award ceremony was twice postponed due to the pandemic.
The Polar Music Prize, founded by ABBA‘s Stig “Stikkan” Anderson, is an annual award given to one popular music artist and one classical artist.
Pop, whose original name is James Newell Osterberg, Jr., won the award in pop music category.
(Photo: Rob Baker Ashton)
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