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Paul Simon Wins Polar Music Prize

Paul Simon
Charles Eshelman, Getty Images

Congratulations to Paul Simon for nabbing the 2012 Polar Music Prize, which is awarded annually in Sweden to one contemporary artist and to one classical artist. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma grabbed the award on the classical side.

In addition to the title, the winners of this prestigious honor will receive one million kronor, which translates to a little over 145,000 in U.S. dollars, at the Aug. 28 ceremony, held in Stockholm, according to

The Polar Music Prize in an international honor and was founded in 1989 by Stig Anderson, who once managed ABBA, with donation from the Royal Swedish Academy.

So why did Simon win this year? Well, the Royal Swedish Academy lauded the singer-songwriter for his abilities to do just that: write songs that stand the test of time and that impact culture and the musical canon in a major way. The Academy celebrated Simon for his “consummate skill, innovative arrangements and provocative lyrics. Nobody else is more deserving of the epithet of ‘world-class songwriter.’”

Additionally, the Royal Swedish Academy cleverly stated, “For five decades, Paul Simon has built bridges not only over troubled waters but over entire oceans by (re)joining the world’s continents with his music. Paul Simon has compiled a library of songs which will remain open to future generations.”

Those are all true things. Paul Simon is an American songwriting treasure. Even the Swedes know it.

Congrats, Paul!

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