Metallica, the architects of thrash metal who later transformed into one of the best-selling rock bands of all time, and Dr. Ahmad Sarmast, founder of the Afghan National Institute of Music, both accepted the prestigious Polar Music Prize from the hands of His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden at a ceremony held at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm on Thursday evening.
Metallica and Dr. Sarmast are the latest Laureates to win the prize founded by ABBA manager, music publisher and lyricist Stig “Stikkan” Anderson. Anderson petitioned the Nobel Prize committee in the late 1980s to add a music award. When his idea was rejected, Anderson created his own award, the Polar Music Prize. First presented in 1992, the Prize has gone to many of the world’s greatest pop, classical and jazz artists, including Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Emmylou Harris, B. B. King, Ennio Morricone, Sting, Renée Fleming, Elton John, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Yo-Yo Ma, Max Martin, Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry, Stevie Wonder, Patti Smith, Wayne Shorter, Björk and Isaac Stern.