He's the first pop artist to win the award.
Kendrick Lamar has become the first rap artist to win the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Music thanks to his ambitious 2017 record 'DAMN.' In fact, he's the only non-classical/jazz musician ever to have won. It's like the Bob Dylan-Nobel Prize situation all over again - except few people are arguing the win.
Kendrick Lamar at the MTV VMAs
The 30-year-old Grammy winner beat finalists Michael Gilbertson ('Quartet') and Ted Hearne ('Sound from the Bench') to the award; both classical composers of a similar age. His prize includes a generous £10,000.
The album was described rather ostentatiously by the Pulitzer team 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'.
Almost startlingly different from last year's operatic winner, 'Angel's Bone' by Du Yun, 'DAMN.' was released back in April 2017 and became a commercial and critical success, with songs like 'Alright' and 'The Blacker the Berry' becoming anthems for people affected by the police shootings of black people that have saturated the media.
It was the rapper's fourth album, and second US chart-topping venture. It was produced by a huge team including Anthony Tiffith, Sounwave, DJ Dahi, Mike Will Made It and Ricci Riera, with more contributions from the likes of James Blake, Steve Lacy, BadBadNotGood, Greg Kurstin, The Alchemist and 9th Wonder.
Since dropping his third album 'To Pimp a Butterfly' in 2014, Kendrick Lamar has won no less than twelve Grammy Awards, not to mention ten MTV Video Music Awards and five NAACP Image Awards, among others.
The rapper is yet to comment on becoming the first pop figure to win an award like the Pulitzer, but he's not the only high profile winner of this year. The New York Times and New Yorker were both awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service over their investigations of the casting couch behaviour of disgraced filmmaker Harvey Weinstein.