Iggy Pop to Receive 2022 Polar Music Prize

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Iggy Pop is the recipient of the 2022 Polar Music Prize. The former Stooges frontman and solo artist, known as the “godfather of punk” will receive the award on May 24 during a ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden.

An official video revealing the winner of the Polar Music Prize called Pop a “one-of-a-kind” artist, who “with his poetic lyrics and provocative stage presence, he is considered the godfather of punk music.”

“As a solo artist, Iggy Pop has never slowed down and has instead pushed this art form forwards for half a century,” reads the Polar Music Prize story on Pop. “Iggy Pop is ‘the chairman of the bored’ who portrays alienation in poetic language. A wholly unique artist who personifies and embodies what rock music is about.”

Born James Newell Osterberg in Michigan, on April 21, 1947, Pop grew up in Ann Arbor with his parents Louella and James Newell Osterberg Sr., in a trailer park. Moved by music at an early age, As lead vocalist and writer of the Stooges, formed in 1967 by the 1970s, Pop connected with friend and longtime collaborator David Bowie and released 19 solo albums from 1977 through 2019.

The 74-year-old Pop, who just released his 18th album, Free, in 2019, was praised for helping pave the way for significant punk and post-punk acts like the Ramones, Sex Pistols, Nick Cave, Blondie, Joy Division, and Siouxsie And The Banshees.

“I was aware of the very fine range of people that have gotten the Polar Music Prize,” said Pop in a video statement. “Patti Smith and Steve Reich have been huge for me forever, I love a lot of what he does, and so many others, so 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.”

Founded and funded by Swedish songwriter, producer, label owner, music publisher, and former ABBA manager Stig “Stikkan” Anderson after the Nobel Prize Committee rejected his suggestion of a Nobel Prize for music.

Iggy Pop, 2019 (Photo: Rob Baker Ashton)

Launched in 1992, the annual Polar Music Prize honors two Laureates each year, including the 2022 classical music honoree Ensemble Intercontemporain, a French music ensemble.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the first Polar Music Prize, which honored Paul McCartney and the Baltic States in 1992. Other previous recipients of the Prize include Elton John, Joni Mitchell, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, and Björk.

“We are delighted to return in 2022, after a two-year absence due to the pandemic, with two incredibly worthy Laureates,” said Marie Ledin, managing director of the Polar Music Prize, in a statement. “Iggy Pop is unique, there is no one else quite like him.”

Photo: “Love’s Missing” Video / Iggy Pop

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