Iggy Pop, frontman of groundbreaking rock outfit the Stooges and long considered a forefather of punk, has been named a recipient of the 2022 Polar Music Prize.
“I was aware of the very fine range of people that have gotten the Polar Music Prize,” Pop said in a video statement. “It’s a nice step for me. I respect it and I’m honored by it. I’m looking forward to coming to Stockholm in May to receive the Polar Music Prize.”
The annual prize, which was first awarded in 1992, honors two Laureates each year — one representing popular music and one from the classical field. Both will receive prize money of one million Swedish Kroner ($110,602 U.S.). Past popular music Laureates include Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, Chuck Berry, Ennio Morricone, Bjork, Led Zeppelin, Patti Smith, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Elton John, and Metallica.
This year’s classical music honoree is Ensemble intercontemporain, a French contemporary ensemble.
“We are delighted to return in 2022, after a two year absence due to the pandemic, with two incredibly worthy Laureates,” Marie Ledin, managing director of the Polar Music Prize, said in a press release. “Iggy Pop is unique, there is no one else quite like him.”
FIlmmakers John Waters and Jim Jarmusch released video statements to congratulate Pop on his honor. “They made the perfect choice,” Waters notes. “He is not only a rock star — he’s a god.”
The Polar Music Prize was founded and funded by Stig “Stikkan” Anderson, the Swedish songwriter, producer, label owner and music publisher who was the manager of ABBA. Its selection committee is an independent 11-member board, which selects the Laureates. It receives nominations from the public, as well as from the International Music Council, the UNESCO founded NGO which promotes geographical and musical diversity.
Pop’s most recent album, Free, was released in 2019.