STOCKHOLM, Sweden — The legendary Grandmaster Flash was honored by H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden with the 2019 Polar Music Prize at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm — for inventing revolutionizing Dj techniques as well as being a catalyst for hip-hop.
Polar Music Prize is an international music prize which is awarded to individuals, groups or institutions in recognition of exceptional achievements in the creation and advancement of music
Born in Barbados and raised in the South Bronx, New York, Grandmaster Flash created a whole new way of making music.
Grandmaster Flash is a scientist and a virtuoso who has demonstrated that turntables and mixing consoles can be musical instruments. His adventures at the turntables – “the Adventures of the Wheels of Steel” – changed the course of popular music.
Some 40 years later, the musical form and the hip hop culture that Grandmaster Flash helped to create, in the ruins of the South Bronx in the mid-1970s, has grown into the largest music genre, hip hop, in the United States and the world.
The Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989 by the late Stig ”Stikkan” Anderson, a true legend in the history of popular music. Stig Anderson was the publisher, lyricist and manager of ABBA, and he played a key role in their enormous success. The name of the prize stems from Anderson’s legendary record label, Polar Music.
It awards two laureates in order to celebrate music in all its various forms and to emphasize the original intention of the Polar Music Prize: To break down musical boundaries by bringing together people from all the different worlds of music.
Violinist Anne-Sophie as well as Whitney Kroenke and Mark Johnson also received the Polar Music Prize Awards which has become one of the most prestigious music prizes in the world.
Photo Credit: Annika Berglund