Pink Floyd and Renee Fleming Awarded Polar Prize
The legendary progressive rock group Pink Floyd needs little introduction. This inspiring British music group has been wowing fans with their music since the late 1960s. Pink Floyd is known for innovative cover art, elaborate live shows, sonic experimentation and philosophical lyrics. Over the course of their career they became one of the most successful rock acts ever and have sold more than 200 million albums worldwide.
Little wonder then that the Royal Swedish Academy of Music saw fit to award the group with the country’s biggest music award, the Polar Prize. The prize was shared with American soprano singer Renee Fleming for her outstanding voice and clarity. The artist and group will be joining an incredible selection of previous winners that includes Paul McCartney, Quincy Jones, Joni Mitchell, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, Gyorgy Ligeti and Elton John. While the prizes were awarded on Wednesday 20 May, the artists will likely want to be present at the official annual ceremony held later this year on August 26 in Stockholm, where they will receive cash prizes of 1 million Swedish crowns.
The committee said that they felt that Renee Fleming’s “soft, natural singing technique” appealed to both connoisseurs and a broader audience. Fleming has been performing across the globe since making her debut more than 20 years ago, turning heads wherever she sings. This distinguished singer has definitely earned her reputation with her striking vocal capabilities.
Pink Floyd was selected for their contribution to the development of popular culture, helping to combine music and art. The committee said that Pink Floyd “captured and shaped the reflections and attitudes of a whole generation”. Clearly the iconic music group is deserving of recognition and the Polar Prize is not their first award.
The Polar Prize Award was founded by Stig Anderson, the former manager of the Swedish pop group ABBA, in 1989. The prize is usually split between two musicians or groups from different genres, so the choice of a rock group and opera singer as recipients of the award fits in perfectly with this precedent. Last year’s award was shared by jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins and classical composer Steve Reich.