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Chuck Berry Wins Top Music Prize in Sweden

Published: Wed August 27, 2014  News Feed
Chuck Berry, arguably The Father of Rock'n'Roll, was announced as the winner of the Polar Music Prize, considered the world's most prestigious music prize. The man who inspired a generation of rock'n'rollers (including The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, to name but two) was too ill to travel and accept the award.

Chuck Berry live, in 2014

You many never heard of the Polar Music Prize before, but it is considered the world's most prestigious award in music. Whereas the Grammys and the Brits may be more popular, the Polar Music Prize was created 25 years ago as the music equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

Keith Richards, who perhaps more than anyone else has cherished Chuck Berry as a leading influence, paid tributes to the rock'n'roll pioneer, who up until early this year was still playing live, at the ripe old age of 87! However, Berry was now too ill to travel for the awards. On a video message, Richards said:

"Chuck Berry, he just leapt out of the radio at me. I ate him basically, I mean I breathed him – it wasn't just food, he was the air I breathed for many years when I was learning guitar and trying to figure out how you could be such an all-rounder. Such a great voice, such a great player and also such a great showman … it was all in one package."

Berry, who famously only plays Gibson Semi-Acoustic Guitars, wrote a message which was read by musician Dave Edmunds, who accepted the award on his behalf:

"My heart is in Sweden. I understand what a great honour it is to be a recipient. I am sorry that I am unable to travel and receive this personally."

Past winners include Paul McCartney and Led Zeppelin.

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