Renowned Beninese singer-songwriter Angelique Kidjo has been announced as the recipient of the prestigious Polar Music Prize for 2023.
The announcement was made by the Royal Swedish Academy of Music on Monday, 27th March 2023.
The Polar Music Award, also known as the “Nobel Prize of Music,” was established in 1989 by the late Stig “Stikkan” Anderson, the manager of ABBA.
The award is presented annually to individuals, groups or institutions in recognition of exceptional achievements in music.
Angelique Kidjo is a global icon and a pioneer of African music who was born in Benin in 1960.
She started singing at the age of six and went on to study music in Paris and has collaborated with many famous musicians, including Carlos Santana, Alicia Keys, and Peter Gabriel, and has performed at some of the world’s most prestigious music festivals, such as Glastonbury, Montreux, and Coachella.
She has released over a dozen albums and won numerous awards, including four Grammy Awards.
She is known for her unique blend of African rhythms, jazz, funk, and rock, as well as her powerful and soulful voice.
In addition to her musical talents, Kidjo is a passionate advocate for social justice and women’s rights who has used her music and her platform to raise awareness about social issues and has been a vocal advocate for women’s rights, education, and environmental conservation.
She has been a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF since 2002 and has worked tirelessly to promote education and health in Africa.
Reacting to the news of her award, Kidjo expressed her gratitude and said, “So proud to be the laureate of the Polar Music Prize (the most prestigious music prize in the world!) along with my musical godfather Chris Blackwell (the founder of Island Records who discovered me!) and along with the great composer #Arvopärt.
Thanks to all my fans, my family, my team and to the African continent which has inspired me and supported me all these years.”
The Polar Music Prize consists of a cash award of one million Swedish Krona (approximately $118,000) and a specially designed medal. The award ceremony, which will be held in Stockholm in June, will feature performances by Kidjo and other artists paying tribute to her remarkable career.
The award committee hailed Kidjo as “a true global artist whose music has transcended borders and brought people together.
Her contribution to the music industry and society at large makes her a worthy recipient of the 2023 Polar Music Prize.”
Also, the Polar Music Prize 2023 on its social media handle said, “Polar Music Prize 2023 is awarded to Angélique Kidjo from Benin. A unique and unstoppable artist and songwriter.
Watch Polar Music Award statement of Angelique Kidjo here: https://fb.watch/jyo6w2GnPb/
Angélique Kidjo speaks and sings in five languages: Fon, French, Yorùbá, Goun and English.
Angélique grew up in Cotonou, surrounded by the dynamic Beninese culture and listening to music from all over the world: soul, jazz, reggae, afrobeat, pop, classical.
When a communist dictatorship tried to silence her, she moved to Paris and became even more active.
Angélique Kidjo invented the word batonga, a response to those who think girls don’t belong in schools, and runs the Batonga Foundation, which seeks out girls and provides them with education.
Bono has said of her, “In Africa’s new morning, Angélique Kidjo is the warmth of the rising sun.”
The award ceremony is scheduled to take place in Stockholm, Sweden, in June 2023, and it promises to be a memorable event. Congratulations to Angelique Kidjo on this well-deserved recognition.
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