Metallica has donated the monetary part of the prestigious Polar Music Prize – that’s SEK 1m (£85,000) – to charity.
The thrash metal titans were last week awarded the accolade by no less a dignitary than King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden at a ceremony in Stockholm, and was accepted by drummer Lars Ulrich and bassist Robert Trujillo. The award is given to two artists – one classical and one contemporary – and this year Metallica were given the nod in recognition of their cultural contribution.
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“Not since Wagner’s emotional turmoil and Tchaikovsky’s cannons has anyone created music that is so physical and furious, and yet still so accessible,” is what the organisers said, and quite right, too.
“Through virtuoso ensemble playing and its use of extremely accelerated tempos, Metallica has taken rock music to places it had never been before. In Metallica’s world, both a teenage bedroom and a concert hall can be transformed into a Valhalla. The strength of the band’s uncompromising albums has helped millions of listeners to transform their sense of alienation into a superpower.”
Billboard reports that Metallica decided to give 50% of their prize money to the Stockholm City Mission, 25% to the World Child Foundation and 25% to the Afghanistan National Institute Of Music.
Managing Director of the Polar Music Prize, Marie Ledin, told Billboard: “Many of the Polar Music Prize Laureates over the years have donated their prize money to charity. It’s not something we ask of them, but we appreciate their generosity.
“I know my father, [ABBA manager and award founder] Stig Anderson, would be very happy and proud to know of our Laureates’ great charitable donations.”
The Polar Music Prize’s first recipient was Paul McCartney back in 1992. Since then, musicians such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Bruce Springsteen have all been honoured.
Speaking earlier this year, Robert Trujillo said: “It’s incredible to be recognised and honoured in this way. To me, it’s very prestigious. Hopefully this will inspire younger generations of musicians to keep the music alive.”
Photo Credit: Henrik Montgomery/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock