Angélique Kidjo, the five-time Grammy-winning singer, has been announced as one of three recipients of the 2023 Polar Music Prize.


The Beninese singer was named a recipient of Sweden’s prestigious award, also referred to as “the Nobel Prize of music”, on Tuesday.

This year’s laureates also include Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records, and Arvo Pärt, the classical composer.

Speaking on being awarded the Polar Music Prize, Angélique Kidjo said: “My passion for music has always been unwavering.


“Being on stage for me is like being in paradise. It’s my sanctuary. It’s my place to link and connect with my fellow human beings. That is something that I’m grateful for every day. To be awarded the Polar Music Prize is humbling.”

With this achievement, the Beninese singer joins the rank of two previous recipients of the award from Africa. They include South Africa’s Miriam Makeba who won the prize in 2002 and Senegal’s Youssou N’Dour — awarded in 2013.

This year’s award ceremony will take place on May 23 in Stockholm.

Since its first edition in 1992, the Polar Music Prize is regarded as one of music’s most prestigious honours — which has been celebrating some of the world’s most important and inspiring musical figures for over three decades.


The prize is presented in Stockholm in the presence of the Swedish royal family.

Each laureate will receive prize money of 600,000 Swedish Kroner (approximately £47,681 or US $57,384).

Speaking of Kidjo and other recipients, Marie Ledin, the managing director of the Polar Music Prize, said: “We are delighted to honour these three Laureates who have all made such a global impact with their music.

“Angélique Kidjo is an inspirational artist. She constantly explores and challenges and is one of the greatest singer-songwriters in international music.


“We are thrilled to be recognising her talent and shining a light on her important work with the Batonga Foundation.

“Chris Blackwell founded and built Island Records into one of the most successful labels in music history. He has had a huge influence on the world of music and we are delighted to be able to celebrate this.

“Arvo Pärt is one of the most incredible composers the world has ever seen, and his beautiful music has touched audiences around the globe. We are so happy to honour him as part of the 2023 Polar Music Prize.”



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