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Grandmaster Flash is a Polar Music Prize winner

Grandmaster Flash's win is for his contribution to hip hop and DJ culture

  • Josh Vincent
  • 13 February 2019
Grandmaster Flash is a Polar Music Prize winner

Hip hop pioneer Grandmaster Flash has been named as one of the winners 2019 Polar Music Prize.

Widely considered to be the musical equivalent of a Nobel Prize, the Polar Music Prize has been awarded to Grandmaster Flash, known for 'The Message' with the Furious Five, for his contributions to hip hop and DJ culture.

Flash, real name Joseph Saddler, is credited as the first ever DJ to employ scratch turntablism techniques on a commercial record and is recognised as one of the most important figures in the history of hip hop. His contributions to DJ culture were also recently commemorated in an art piece by Misfit.

Speaking about his nomination for the honour, Flash stated: “It is such an honour because a lot of times in our culture, what we do as DJs gets overlooked. So for these people to say, ‘Let’s give this to someone who doesn’t necessarily use a microphone as their gift’, for me to be picked out of so many people, I am so, so deeply honoured.”

The other winners were German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, and musical non-profit organisation Playing for Change Foundation. The Polar Music Prize, which was founded in 1989 by ABBA manager Stig Anderson, awards winners with a 1 million Swedish krona (£83,000) prize.

Previous winners have included Metallica, Björk and Moog founder Robert Moog.

Josh Vincent is a freelance writer, follow him on Twitter

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