Chuck Berry to get music’s ‘Nobel Prize’ – Telegraph.co.uk
Chuck Berry is still touring at 87
It will be awarded at a ceremony in Stockholm on August 26 – attended by King
Carl XVI of Sweden – where Berry and the other recipient, US opera and
theatre director Peter Sellars, will each be given a £100,000 prize.
The first Polar Music Prize Laureate was Sir Paul McCartney, who said on
receiving the Prize: “The difference with this one for me is that I’ve
presumably been chosen from everyone in the world. You can’t knock that,
that’s a high honour. They could have chosen all sorts of other people, I
can think of a few people who you could choose for a music honour like this.
When it’s this big and this special, it’s a great honour.”
Joni Mitchell, Dizzy Gillespie, Paul Simon, BB King, Renee Fleming, Bob
Dylan, Burt Bacharach, Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Ray Charles
and Quincy Jones have also won the award.
The citation for Berry said: “The Polar Music Prize 2014 is awarded to
Chuck Berry from St Louis, USA. The parameters of rock music were set one
day in May 1955, when Chuck Berry recorded his debut single “Maybellene”.
Chuck Berry was the rock’n’roll pioneer who turned the electric guitar into
the main instrument of rock music. Every riff and solo played by rock
guitarists over the last 60 years contains DNA that can be traced right back
to Chuck Berry. The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and a million other groups
began to learn their craft by playing Chuck Berry songs. Chuck Berry is also
a superb songwriter. In the course of three minutes he conjures up an image
of the everyday life and dreams of a teenager, often with the focus on cars.
Chuck Berry, born in 1926, was the first to drive up onto the highway and
announce that we are born to run.”
Berry is still touring and was in Russia last month for a series of concerts.