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09 May 2010

Ray Charles Receiving Polar Music Prize 1998

Photo by Anders Wiklund.
Clipping from Jet,
1 June 1998.
In May 1998 Ray Charles was awarded the Royal Swedish Academy Of Music's Polar Music Prize, presented to him by king Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. The award was established by Stig Anderson, manager of Abba, and is nicknamed 'the Nobel prize of the entertainment industry'.
"This day of my life I'm truly overwhelmed, I want you people to know that. For a little boy coming from the country, very poor. And to be in the company of a King... I could never in my wildest dreams... I thank you from the bottom of my heart," Ray said.
The prize ceremony took place at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm. Charles and Shankar each received the equivalent of $133,000.
On 22 April Swedish TV-station SVT2 broadcast a 30 minute Polar Prize program, portraying Ray Charles. Source here.

Swedish singers quoting the Ray Charles Songbook (Ray in the audience):

Here's a clip where Ray performs It Had To Be You, and A Song For You with a Swedish combo, and then says thank you to the Swedes:

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