Emmylou Harris to Receive Sweden’s Polar Music Prize
Emmylou Harris is one of two musicians who have been named 2015 winners of Sweden's Polar Music Prize.
Harris is joined by Scottish percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie in receiving the honor, which will be presented by Sweden's King Carl XVI in Stockholm at a ceremony on June 9.
"I was both surprised and honored at the news of this most prestigious award," Harris says, adding that she is "now looking forward to once again returning to your beautiful country, where I was first so warmly welcomed ... many years ago."
Harris has released more than 25 albums throughout her career, which has spanned five decades. She has collaborated with artists from many genres, including Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Beck and Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit. The singer contributes her long success to having loyal fans who have enabled her to take risks musically rather than worrying about chasing No. 1 hits.
“I was lucky enough to get into the country charts, but I didn’t have to live and die by them,” she says. “I was always able to do whatever I wanted because, luckily enough, I always had an extraordinary audience. They were loyal. They came out to shows. They bought enough records to make it respectable, where the record company would say, ‘Yeah, she should do another record’ ... If you don’t follow your heart, what is speaking to you at the moment and inspiring you, then I think you’re going to pay.”
The Polar Music Prize was founded in 1992 by Stig Anderson, manager of the band ABBA, to honor musical achievements and artists who break the mold; each year, one artist from the contemporary industry and one more classical artist is honored. Previous honorees include Paul McCartney, Chuck Berry and Patti Smith. Glennie, Harris' fellow nominee, has been deaf since she was 12 years old but has released over 30 solo albums, won three Grammy Awards and played with some of the most prestigious orchestras in the world.
Harris and Glennie will each receive a trophy, as well as 1 million Swedish krona (about $116,000). More information about the award can be found at PolarMusicPrize.org.