Metallica awarded 2018 Polar Music Prize

The Grammy award-winning rockers were awarded the prize tonight in Sweden

Rock legends Metallica have been awarded the prestigious Polar Music Prize this evening (14.06.18).

  • Read more about the Polar Music Prize here.

Lars Ulrich and Roberto Trujillo accepted the award from His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

British Rock legends Roger Glover and Ian Paice from Deep Purple read the citation prior to Metallica’s accepting the award.


Glover said: “In the early 80s, we were riding high ding a big festival in England…I heard this band backstage, they were on stage…I’d heard the name, didn’t know anything about them. I went on the side of the stage to have a look and thought, yes, there’s something happening here.”

“…The audience was singing every word they sang. And that’s what impressed me, when you touch that many people with your music there is something special going on….what a band.” The citation from Deep Purple received a standing ovation.

Accepting the award, drummer and co-founder of Metallica Ulrich said: “Who would have thought, when Metallica started this musical journey 37 years ago, that one day we would be standing in front of both musical royalty and actual royalty, accepting one of the most prestigious prizes that can be bestowed upon musicians?”

“The type of music that we play was not supposed to be acknowledged or embraced by the mainstream, the media, or even large audiences. In 1981 when this band formed, I just wanted to play music in a collective setting and feel like I belonged to something bigger than myself.”


He added: “From the beginning, we always felt like outsiders. We always felt like somehow we were not good enough, not cool enough to be accepted by a general music audience…then an unexpected thing happened. The mainstream audience began moving closer and closer to the area where the musically disenfranchised like ourselves were hovering.”

“…About 10/15 years later, we found ourselves right in the middle of that very mainstream which we had felt so vengefully ostracised from. Receiving this prize solidifies the idea that no matter how alienated you feel, connecting to other people through music is not only possible but can be outright inspirational and life changing.”

The prize, now in its 27th year, was originally founded by Stig ‘Stikkan’ Anderson who was the publisher, lyricist and manager of pop legends ABBA. In one of the most unlikeliest of covers of all time, Metallica covered ABBA’s ‘Dancing Queen’ earlier this year.

Set up to honour “significant achievements in music and/or music activity” the award also celebrates music that “breaks down musical boundaries.”

Ulrich also went on to say it was “an honour” to share the award with Dr Ahmad Sarmast and The Afghanistan Institute of Music who has set up an organisation to rebuild music and support musicians in Afghanistan.

Previous winners of the prize include Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Wonder.

Metallica are donating the prize money they have received to charity.

Ulrich closed by saying: “And finally, while this award acknowledges Metallica’s achievements of the past 37 years, as we stand here in this glorious moment, may the Danish kid in me shout out to the world “Look Mom, we’re just getting started!”