Sweden honors rockers, soprano

Pink Floyd and soprano Renee Fleming were named winners of the 2008 Polar Music Prize on Wednesday for their contributions to their musical genres.

The British rock group and Fleming will each receive a cash prize of $168,000 at an Aug. 26 awards ceremony in Stockholm, organizers said.

The Polar Music Prize is Sweden’s biggest music award. It was founded by Stig Anderson, manager of Swedish pop group ABBA, in 1989.

The prize committee cited Fleming’s “sublime, unparalleled voice and unique stylistic versatility.”

A two-time Grammy winner, Fleming, 49, has performed in opera houses worldwide after her professional debut more than 20 years ago.

The committee said Pink Floyd, founded in the 1960s, had made a “monumental contribution” in the development of popular culture.

“They captured the mood and spirit of a whole generation in their reflections and attitudes,” the citation said.

The prize is typically split between pop artists and classical musicians.

Last year’s winners were composer Steve Reich and jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins.

Previous winners include Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney, Isaac Stern, Bruce Springsteen and Quincy Jones.

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