Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry and more praise ‘genius’ Max Martin

The Polar Music Prize has announced that Max Martin, Grammy-Award winning and globally acclaimed songwriter, will become a laureate at this year’s event in Stockholm in June.

Cecilia Bartoli, leading mezzo-soprano singer, will be the other recipient of the honour, in The Polar Music Prize’s 25th year.

Artists have lined up to congratulate Martin, who has written or co-written 21 Billboard Hot 100 hits since 1999.

Martin, from Stockholm, Sweden, first rose to prominence in the mid-nineties writing a string of hits for artists including Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys and Justin Timberlake.

His more recent hits include Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off’, The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face”, Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl” and Pink’s “So What”.

He can lay claim to the third-most Number One singles in the Billboard Hot 100 chart, behind only Paul McCartney and John Lennon.

Here’s what some of the world’s biggest stars had to say about Martin and his Polar Music Prize – often likened to the ‘Nobel Prize of music’.

  • Ellie Goulding congratulated Martin on a “very well deserved Polar Music Award”;
  • Britney Spears said: “I think you’re a genius, it’s such an honour to work with you…you’ve been a part of my career from the beginning.”
  • Justin Timberlake said that “no-one deserves it more – you are a master”;
  • Katy Perry talked about the “wonderful back and forth” when collaborating with Martin, and how he “sets the scene for [the songwriting process] to be really creative”;
  • Pink said: “You blow my mind and I’m really proud of you.”

Both Laureates will attend the gala ceremony and receive their Prizes from King Carl XVI on 16 June in Stockholm’s Concert Hall.

Marie Ledin, Managing Director of the Polar Music Prize, said: “Max Martin and Cecilia Bartoli have both contributed an incredible amount to music in their respective fields.

“They embody what the Prize represents; excellence in the world of music. It is an honour to have them as our 2016 Laureates, and I look forward to welcoming them to the ceremony in June for what marks the 25th year of the Polar Music Prize.”

Max Martin said: “If you can somehow influence popular culture, shape it in some way, when something becomes bigger than just a song, that’s the greatest thing for me…this is what I love about music. You can reach so many people.”

On being awarded with the Polar Music Prize, he added: “Thank you very much. This is a great honour. See you in Stockholm in June!”

Cecilia Bartoli is the most successful mezzo singer in the world. Renowned for her career-long relationship with the music of Mozart, Bartoli, from Rome, Italy, is one of his finest interpreters.

Her solo releases have achieved enormous success with extraordinary, mutli-million selling albums, making Cecilia Bartoli one of the world’s best-selling artists in the field of classical music.

Cecilia Bartoli said: “What a fantastic surprise, I’m so happy to be awarded the unique Polar Music Prize 2016.  I feel deeply honoured because this amazing prize is all about a passion for good music without boundaries.”

The first Laureates of the Polar Music Prize in 1992 were Paul McCartney and the Baltic States and the most recent, was percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie and singer Emmylou Harris.

The roll call of former Laureates includes Dizzy Gillespie, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Ravi Shankar, Renee Fleming, Ray Charles, Youssou N’dour, Mstislav Rostropovich and Kronos Quartet.

The Prize was founded by Stig “Stikkan” Anderson, the publisher, lyricist and manager of ABBA, to honour “significant achievements in music and/or music activity and to break down musical boundaries.”

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 scrutinising nominations submitted and selecting the Laureates is undertaken by an Award Committee comprising of 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 £81,695 (1 million Swedish Krona).Music Business Worldwide

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