After receiving the prestigious 2017 Polar Music Prize on June 15, Sting announced that he would donate the money.
The prize included a 1 million kronor award ($118,000), which will be donated to the Songlines project. The program is meant to provide musical opportunities for refugees to Sweden primarily from Afghanistan, Eritrea and Syria. The prize money will go to buying musical instruments, orchestrating music camps and conducting concerts for the refugees.
“Music can help build bridges and this project highlights the vital role that music can play in providing young refugees the opportunity to connect with a new society,” Sting added.
The Polar Music Prize was awarded to to Sting as well as jazz musician Wayne Shorter at the this year’s 2017 Polar Music Prize Gala. Previous recipients have included Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Emmylou Harris, B.B. King, Ennio Morricone, Renée Fleming, Elton John, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Yo-Yo Ma, Max Martin, Stevie Wonder, Patti Smith, and Isaac Stern.