Songwriter extraordinaire Diane Warren and operatic prima donna Anna Netrebko have been named the Laureates for the 2020 Polar Music Prize, to be presented in a ceremony at the Grand Hotel on June 9. The announcement was made Tuesday morning (Feb. 11) at Stockholm City Hall by Alfons Karabuda, chairman of the Polar Music Prize award committee.
Warren, who has perfected the art of writing power ballads, has topped the Billboard Hot 100 nine times, with hits like "Unbreak My Heart" by Toni Braxton, "Look Away" by Chicago and "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith. That last title is one of 11 Oscar-nominated songs written by Warren over four decades, starting with Starship's "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" from Mannequin in 1988 to Chrissy Metz's "I'll Stand by You" from Breakthrough in 2020. "I'm the most nominated woman in Oscar history to not win one," Warren tells Billboard. "It'd be great to win," she acknowledged shortly before the Academy Award for best original song was presented to Elton John and Bernie Taupin on Sunday (Feb. 9). Despite her Academy Award fortunes, Warren has won many awards during her lifetime, including a Grammy, an Emmy and a Golden Globe as well as numerous writing awards from ASCAP and an Ivor Novello Award in the U.K. She is in the Songwriters Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.