After receiving the Polar Music Prize from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden in Stockholm on Thursday (June 14), Metallica has donated its monetary award of one million Swedish Kroner (just over $130,000) to three charities.
The band is giving 50 percent of their prize money to the Stockholm City Mission, which supports the homeless; 25 percent to the World Childhood Foundation, founded by Sweden’s Queen Silvia; and 25 percent to the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, also a recipient of this year’s Polar Music Prize. Metallica was one of this year’s Laureates, along with Dr. Ahmad Sarmast and ANIM, the music school he founded in 2010 in response to that country’s civil war and destruction of centuries of rich musical tradition.
“Many of the Polar Music Prize Laureates over the years have donated their prize money to charity,” Marie Ledin, managing director of the Prize, told Billboard. “It’s not something we ask of them, but we appreciate their generosity. I know my father, Stig Anderson, would be very happy and proud to know of our Laureates’ great charitable donations.” Anderson, the manager of ABBA and a well-known lyricist, music publisher and record label owner, founded and funded the Prize in the late 1980s and the first ceremony was held in 1992, honoring Paul McCartney as well as the Baltic States, which had just broken away from the Soviet Union. The Prize, and its cash award, was given to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to support their national music culture, as a nucleus for the formation of performing rights societies in those countries.
Last year, Sting donated his one million Swedish Kroner award to Songlines, an organization that provides musical opportunities for refugees to Sweden from Syria, Afghanistan and Eritrea. His donation was used to purchase musical instruments, create music camps and produce concerts for the refugees. At the time, Sting said, “Music can help build bridges and this project highlights the vital role that music can play in providing young refugees the opportunity to connect with a new society.”