Kendrick Lamar has made history (again) by becoming the first non-classical or jazz artist to win a prestigious Pulitzer Prize.
Lamar was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Music overnight, in recognition of his 2017 album DAMN., which judges described as “a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life”.
Speaking with Billboard, Pulitzer Prize Administrator Dana Canedy explained the debate which led to a unanimous decision to give DAMN. a Pulitzer.
“I don’t know specifically what the piece was, but in this case they were considering a piece of music they felt had hip-hop influences and said, ‘Well if we’re considering a piece of music that has hip-hop influences, why aren’t we considering hip-hop?’
“And someone said, ‘That’s exactly what we should do.’ And then someone said, ‘We should be considering Kendrick Lamar’ and the group said ‘absolutely’. So then, right then, they decided to listen to the entire album and decided ‘This is it’.”
Canedy went on to describe Kendrick Lamar’s win as “a huge moment for the music industry”.
Kendrick Lamar is scheduled to return to Australia in July to headline Splendour In The Grass 2018. He is also expected to announce some festival sideshows in the coming weeks.
— The Pulitzer Prizes (@PulitzerPrizes) April 16, 2018