Max Martin, Cecilia Bartoli Honored With Sweden's 25th Polar Music Prize
June 16, 2016 at 12:52 PM (PT)
GRAMMY-winning pop producer/songwriter MAX MARTIN and internationally renowned mezzo-soprano CECILIA BARTOLI were honored with the 25th POLAR MUSIC PRIZE, receiving their prizes from KING CARL XVI GUSTAF. Citations were read by THE BACKSTREET BOYS' BRIAN LITTRELL, KEVIN RICHARDSON and HOWARD DOROUGH, and SWEDEN's culture minister ALICE BAH KUHNKE. The gala ceremony took place in STOCKHOLM's CONCERT HALL.
POLAR MUSIC PRIZE Managing Director MARIE LEDIN commented: “MAX MARTIN and CECILIA BARTOLI have both contributed an incredible amount to music in their respective fields. They embody what the PRIZE represents; excellence in the world of music. It is an honor to have them as our 2016 LAUREATES.”
Joked the media-elusive MARTIN: “You blew my cover! I’ve managed to hide between two speakers in a basement for over 20 years, but you got me!” He said that he has two secrets for writing the perfect pop song, first, “to steal. Yes. I confess. I have through the years ripped off giants like ABBA, KISS, PRINCE….and, of course, LASSE HOLM.” And the second , “and most important is love” from JENNY, his wife, and daughter DORIS... I could NOT have done it without you.”
Artists performing in tribute to MARTIN and BARTOLI included PETER JOBACK, SEINABO SEY, AMANDA BERGMAN, ANN HALLENBERG, LENA WILLEMARK and folk music group VASEN.
SIMON COWELL’s filmed message to MARTIN caused muuch amusement when he admitted telling him that ”no one is going to have a hit with a name like that” – he was referring to BRITNEY SPEARS and ”Oops I Did It Again." He also reflected: ”I don’t think that MAX MARTIN is human, I think he was made in SWEDEN to make hit records, because nobody human can have done what he’s done. In the history of pop music, he is the best writer alive today.”
SPEARS added: “I think you’re a genius, it’s such an honor to work with you… you’ve been a part of my career from the beginning.” JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE also congratulated MAX, saying: “…no one deserves it more. You are a master.” KATY PERRY talked about the “wonderful back and forth” of the working process with MAX, and how he “sets the scene for it to be really creative," while PINK said: “You blow my mind and I’m really proud of you.”
THE POLAR MUSIC PRIZE, also referred to as the “NOBEL PRIZE for music,” is an international recognition of excellence in the world of music, including past recipients PAUL McCARTNEY, DIZZY GILLESPIE, PATTI SMITH, BOB DYLAN, RAVI SHANKAR, RENEE FLEMING, RAY CHARLES, YOUSSOU N'DOUR, MSTISLAV ROSTROPROVICH and KRONOS QUARTET.
The PRIZE was founded by STIG "STIKKAN" ANDERSON, the publisher, lyricist and manager of ABBA, to honor “significant achievements in music and/or music activity and to break down musical boundaries.” In 2016, THE POLAR MUSIC PRIZE celebrates its 25th year.
For further information on the Polar Music Prize please visit www.polarmusicprize.org.