Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo won the 2023 Polar Music Prize on Tuesday along with Britain’s Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records, and Estonian composer Arvo Part.
Organisers of Sweden’s Polar Music Prize described the multi-lingual singer as “one of the greatest singer-songwriters in international music.”
The five-times Grammy winner sings in her native Fon and Yoruba languages as well as in French and English.
Named “Africa’s premier diva” by Time magazine, Kidjo is best known for her hits “Agolo” and “We We”.
The Blackwell founded the Island Records label in Jamaica signed legendary stars as Cat Stevens, Bob Marley, U2 and Roxy Music.
Estonia’s Arvo Part, who the judges described as “the world’s most performed living composer”, was celebrated for his “unique compositional technique, tintinnabuli” which he invented in the 1970s.
Founded in 1989 by former ABBA manager Stig Anderson, the Music Prize rewards the laureates with 600,000 kroner ($58,000) booty at a ceremony in Stockholm on May 23. Last year, the Polar Music Prize honoured Iggy Pop and US songwriter Diane Warren.
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