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N'Dour, Saariaho share Sweden's Polar Music Prize

Tuesday - 5/7/2013, 3:50pm  ET

Associated Press

STOCKHOLM (AP) -- Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour and Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho have been awarded the international 2013 Polar Music Prize, Sweden's most prestigious award for musicians.

They will each receive 1 million kronor ($153,300) and an invitation to the prize ceremony in Stockholm Aug. 27.

In its awarding citation on Tuesday, the prize committee said 53-year-old N'Dour, who has collaborated with artists including Sting, Bruce Springsteen and Neneh Cherry, has a voice that "encompasses an entire continent's history and future, blood and love, dreams and power."

The committee praised him for preserving an oral record of tribal history in the tradition of West African griots.

"A West African griot is not just a singer, but a storyteller, poet, singer of praise, entertainer and verbal historian. Youssou N'Dour is maintaining the griot tradition and has shown that it can also be changed into a narrative about the entire world," the committee said.

"With his exceptionally exuberant band Super
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