The Polar Music Prize 2012 is awarded to Paul Simon. In a great interview 1990 he said this about his first really major influence:
"My first song were just imitations of Doo-Wop. The early people that I liked in Doo-Wop were The Moonglows and The Penguins… Frankie Lymon, of course. Not as a writer but those records… I wasn’t really aware of who the writer was then. Chuck Berry, I would say, he was probably the first really major influence. But I didn’t really know that until later. But these early influences, they had more to do with sound than words. The reason that single out Chuck Berry is because that was the first time that I heard words flowing in an absolutly effortless way. That were not just cliché words. He had a very powerful imagery at his disposal in a lot of songs. ”Maybellene”, particularly, was one of my favorite Chuck Berry songs and records."
Other laureates is Robert Moog (2001), Ray Charles (1998), Peter Gabriel (2009), Miriam Makeba (2002), Keith Jarrett (2003), Dizzy Gillespie (1993), Bob Dylan (2000), Quincy Jones (1994), BB King (2004), Bruce Springsteen (1997), Elton John (1995), Sonny Rollins (2007), Stevie Wonder (1999) and Paul McCartney (1992), all fantastic musicans.
The Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989 by the late Stig Anderson, one of
the true greats in the history of popular music. As the publisher, lyricist and manager of
ABBA, he played a key role in their enormous success.
According to the by-laws, the prize must “be awarded for significant achievements in music and/or musical life, or for achievements which are believed to be of great potential importance for the advancement of music and/or musical life and shall cover all fields within music or be closely connected with it”. Stig Anderson wanted to reward extraordinary achievements in the world of music, as well as provide a unique venue for world artists with different musical platforms.
An independent 12-member Award Committee that includes representatives of SKAP, the Society of Swedish Composers (FST) and the Swedish Music Publishers Association (SMFF) selects the laureates. The committee receives nominations from Confédération Internationale des Sociétés d´Auteurs et Compositeurs (CISAC), the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA) and a number of other organisations.
Many international stars and musicians have come to Stockholm through the years to accept the Polar Music Prize from the hands of King Carl XVI Gustaf.