Artist News Awards

Kendrick Lamar wins Pulitzer Prize For Music

By | Published on Tuesday 17 April 2018

Kendrick Lamar - Damn

Kendrick Lamar has won this year’s Pulitzer Prize For Music. It’s fine to admit that you didn’t know such a thing existed before now. Obviously I did though, and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise.

The rapper has been given the award in recognition of his 2017 album ‘Damn’, which organisers describe as “a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life”.

Explaining how Lamar came to be in the running, award administrator Dana Canedy tells Billboard: “[The jury] were considering a piece of music they felt had hip hop influences and said, ‘Well if we’re considering a piece of music that has hip hop influences, why aren’t we considering hip hop?’ And someone said, ‘That’s exactly what we should do’. And then someone said, ‘We should be considering Kendrick Lamar’ and the group said ‘absolutely’. So then, right then, they decided to listen to the entire album and decided ‘This is it'”.

The Pulitzer Prize For Music each year recognises “distinguished musical composition by an American that has had its first performance or recording in the United States”. As well as a certificate, the winner receives $15,000 and the opportunity to attend a luncheon where they will officially receive their prize. In recent years, it has been presented to artists including Steve Reich and Ornette Coleman.

Lamar beat composers Michael Gilbertson and Ted Hearne to this year’s prize.