Kendrick Lamar wins Pulitzer Prize for Music, first non-classical or jazz musician to do so

Posted on: April 17, 2018

On Monday, Kendrick Lamar won the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his album DAMN., making him “not only the first rapper to win the award since the Pulitzers expanded to music in 1943, but … also the first winner who is not a classical or jazz musician,” writes Joe Coscarelli in Tuesday’s (4/17) New York Times. “ ‘The time was right,’ Dana Canedy, the administrator of the prizes, said… Ms. Canedy said the board’s decision to award Mr. Lamar, 30, was unanimous. The board called the album ‘a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.’ … The music finalists … also included the composer Michael Gilbertson’s ‘Quartet’ and the singer and composer Ted Hearne’s ‘Sound From the Bench.’ … [Juror David] Hajdu said … the jury, [which] included the violinist Regina Carter; Paul Cremo of the Met Opera commissioning program; Farah Jasmine Griffin, a Columbia professor of English and African-American studies; and the composer David Lang … ‘listened to it and there was zero dissent.’ … Mr. Hearne … praised the decision to award the Pulitzer to Mr. Lamar, calling him ‘one of the greatest living American composers.’ ”

Posted April 17, 2018

In photo: Rapper Kendrick Lamar. Photo credit: Amy Harris/Invision, via Associated Press