American singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist Patti Smith is the recipient of the 2011 Polar Music Prize, Sweden’s highest music honor.

"Patti Smith has demonstrated how much rock 'n' roll there is in poetry and how much poetry there is in rock 'n' roll," said the prize committee at the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. "She has transformed the way an entire generation looks, thinks and dreams."

King Carl XVI Gustaf will present the one million SEK ($164,800) prize to Smith and Grammy-winning chamber musicians Kronos Quartet in August, continuing the tradition of sharing the award between a pop artist and a classical act.

"For almost 40 years the Kronos Quartet has been revolutionizing the potential of the string quartet genre when it comes to both style and content," the committee said of the group, which is famous for their blend of several musical genres, from classic to Mexican folk, experimental and avant-garde rock.
The prize was founded in 1989 by ABBA manager Stig Anderson, and has seen an impressive list of winners including Sir Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell.

For more info, see Patti Smith, Kronos Quartet, Polar Music Prize