Kirk Hammett, Lars Ulrich, Robert Trujillo, and James Hetfield of Metallica are being honored with one of the most prestigious awards in music.
Called the Polar Prize, the international award founded in 1989 in Sweden is dubbed as the "Nobel Prize in Music." Over the years, it has recognized the contribution in music of artists such as Bob Dylan (2000), Paul Simon (2012), Björk (2010), Pink Floyd (2008), Stevie Wonder (1999), Bruce Springsteen (1997), Quincy Jones (1994), Sir Elton John (1995), and more. The first artists to receive the acclaim were Sir Paul McCartney and The Baltic States who were honored in 1992.
"The 2018 Polar Music Prize is awarded to the American band Metallica," the judges' citation read. "Not since Wagner's emotional turmoil and Tchaikovsky's cannons has anyone created music that is so physical and furious, and yet still so accessible. Through virtuoso ensemble playing and its use of extremely accelerated tempos, Metallica has taken rock music to places it had never been before. In Metallica's world, both a teenage bedroom and a concert hall can be transformed into a Valhalla. The strength of the band's uncompromising albums has helped millions of listeners to transform their sense of alienation into a superpower."
The band will be receiving 1 million kronor or about $120,000 from the institution in Stockholm in the presence of the Swedish Royal family on June 14.
"It's a great validation of everything that Metallica has done over the last 35 years," said drummer Ulrich in a statement. "At the same time, we feel like we're in our prime with a lot of good years ahead of us."
Vocalist Hetfield said he and the rest of the band are grateful to receive the award.
The band says that they will donate the cash prize to All Within My Hands, a charitable institution that aims to support communities through food banks, disaster relief, and music therapy.
Metallica was formed in 1981 in California. They have released 10 albums over three decades, most recent of which came out in 2016 called Hardwired... to Self-Destruct. The band has received multiple Grammy Awards and has been inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.
Every year, the Polar Music Awards names two laureates to celebrate all forms of music (except in 2001, when the prize recognizes three artists, and in 2003 when only one artist was awarded). Nominees are selected by a prize committee made up of musicians and important individuals in the music industry.
Also heading to Stockholm this year is the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (or ANIM) and its founder/director Ahmad Sarmast.