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Max Martin, Cecilia Bartoli Win Prestigious 2016 Polar Music Prize

by Ryan Middleton   Feb 10, 2016 15:37 PM EST

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One of the most influential music figures of the past three decades, Max Martin, is about to get another piece of distinguished hardware to add to his large wall of trophies and platinum records. The Swedish songwriter and producer has been awarded the 2016 Polar Music Prize, an international music award started in 1989 by the late Stig "Stikkan" Anderson of ABBA. Martin is also opera singer Cecilia Bartoli in winning the prize.

Martin has been the most successful songwriter of the past 20 years and one of the most successful ever. His 21 No. 1 hits are the third all-time behind Paul McCartney's 32 and John Lennon's 26. His 19 No. 1 produced are just behind Beatles producer George Martin, who had 23.

A disciple of Denniz Pop, he helped bring the Swedish way of melodic math through the Cheirnon Studios with Rami Yacoub, Andreas Carlsson, Shellback and others to the masses by writing some of the biggest pop songs of the past 20 years.

His run of hits began with Ace of Base and continued his hot streak with Britney Spears "Hit Me Baby One More Time," and numerous songs for NYNC and Back Street Boys.

He has also written No. 1's for the likes of Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, The Weeknd, Maroon 5 and Taylor Swift.

Martin will join other notable artists like Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Yo-Yo Ma, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, B.B. King, Elton John, Ray Charles, Isaac Stern, Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Bob Dylan and Gilberto Gil in receiving this honor. He is only the second Swedish-born prizewinner.

Bartoli is a five-time Grammy-award winner after starring in her first live production in 1986.

Each winner will take home a cash prize of 1 million Swedish kronor ($118,754).

A video has been released to accompany the announcement, which features interviews with Martin and some of his collaborators over the years.

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