A once in a lifetime evening

Tonight, three legendary names in music were awarded the 2023 Polar Music Prize at the gala ceremony held at Grand Hôtel in Stockholm.

Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records, one of the UK’s greatest independent record labels, Angélique Kidjo, five-time Grammy Award winning Beninese artist and songwriter, and Estonian Arvo Pärt, the world’s most performed living composer, were each presented with the prize by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

Also in attendance at the 2023 ceremony was Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens and Roxy Music’s Phil Manzanera, two of the era-defining acts on Island Records, signed to the label by Chris Blackwell in the seventies.

The ceremony and banquet took place at The Grand Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden. It featured musical performances by Swedish artists, including Daniela Rathana singing “Pull Up To The Bumper” by Island Records artist Grace Jones, and Deportees covered U2’s “With Or Without You”. Benjamin Ingrosso sang “Wild World” with Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens watching on, while Anna Ternheim performed “Love Is The Drug” with Phil Manzanera seated in the audience. Ysee gave a rendition of Angélique Kidjo’s “Agolo”, and the S:t Jacobs Chamber Choir performed “The Deer’s Cry” by Arvo Pärt. The evening also saw a performance by one of France’s most popular jazz instrumentalist, Ibrahim Maalouf.

You can find all pictures from the ceremony and banquet on Flickr.