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*On this date in 2018, Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar won the Pulitzer Prize for music for his album “Damn.” It is the first-time work outside of the classical and jazz genres has been recognized in that category.
In the announcement, the Pulitzer board described the album 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.”
While Lamar’s win is a first for any pop music genre, he is not the first non-classical or jazz musician to be recognized by the Pulitzer board. Hank Williams (2010) and Bob Dylan (2008) are among the most recent musicians who have received special awards.