Chuck Berry has been selected for the 2014 Polar Music Prize.
The Polar Music Prize was started 25 years ago by ABBA manager Stig Anderson to "break down musical boundaries by bringing together people from all the different worlds of music." Previous winners include Joni Mitchell, Dizzy Gillespie, Paul Simon, B.B. King, Renee Fleming, Bob Dylan, Burt Bacharach, Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Ray Charles and Quincy Jones.
In selecting Berry, the organization 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.
The board of the Stig Anderson Music Award Foundation includes representatives from the Stig Anderson family, SKAP (The Swedish Society of Songwriters, Composers and Authors) and STIM (The Swedish Performing Rights Society). The task of scrutinizing nominations submitted and selecting the Laureates is undertaken by an Award Committee comprising experienced members of the music industry, representatives from the Anderson family, musicians, and previous Laureates. Laureates each receive a specially designed trophy and cash prize of £100,000 (US$ 150,000).
Also receiving the award is American opera and theatre director Peter Sellers.