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Metallica to get 'Nobel Prize of music'

From BBC - February 14, 2018

Heavy metal pioneers Metallica are being honoured with Sweden's Polar Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in music.

The band, best known for 1991's Black Album, redefined the sound of metal with a tougher, faster and more abrasive take on rock.

Polar Prize organisers said the US band could transform "a teenage bedroom into a Valhalla".

Metallica will receive their 90,000 prize in Stockholm this June.

They are the first metal band to win the award, which has previously gone to the likes of Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Chuck Berry and BB King - and is regularly called the "Nobel Prize of music".

The judges' citation for the band is worth reading in its entirety:

"The 2018 Polar Music Prize is awarded to the American band Metallica. Not since Wagner's emotional turmoil and Tchaikovsky's cannons has anyone created music that is so physical and furious, and yet still so accessible. Through virtuoso ensemble playing and its use of extremely accelerated tempos, Metallica has taken rock music to places it had never been before. In Metallica's world, both a teenage bedroom and a concert hall can be transformed into a Valhalla. The strength of the band's uncompromising albums has helped millions of listeners to transform their sense of alienation into a superpower."

"It puts us in very distinguished company," said drummer Lars Ulrich of the award.

"It's a great validation of everything that Metallica has done over the last 35 years.At the same time, we feel like we are in our prime with a lot of good years ahead of us."

Vocalist and guitarist James Hetfield added: "As myself and as Metallica I am grateful to have this as part of our legacy, our history."

The band said they would donate the prize money to their charity, All Within My Hands, which supports communities in need through food banks, disaster relief and music therapy.

Formed in California, Metallica are one of the world's biggest bands, selling more than 125 million albums over the last 30 years.

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