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Youssou Ndour and Kaija Saariaho awarded Polar Music Prize

  • Senegalese singer Youssou Ndour and Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho have been named as the winners of this year's Polar Music Prize.

    Sweden's highest musical honor is presented annually to both a pop singer and a classical artist.

    The prize is given for "exceptional achievements in the creation and advancement of music".

    Ndour and Saariaho will each receive $175,500 from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.

    The academy said it viewed Ndour as "not just a singer, but a storyteller, poet, singer of praise, entertainer and verbal historian".

    Meanwhile, Saariaho, who has composed both orchestral works and operas, was hailed as "a modern maestro who opens up our ears and causes their anvils and stirrups to fall in love".

    King Carl XVI Gustaf will present them with their awards at a ceremony in Stockholm on August 27.

    Previous winners include Paul Simon, Elton John, Bob Dylan and Bjork.

    Tagged as: Youssou Ndour, Kaija Saariaho, Polar Music Prize, Entertainment