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Feb 14, 11:49 AM EST

Metallica, Afghan ensemble win 2018 Polar Music Prize

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AP Photo/Miguel Villagran

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) -- American heavy metal band Metallica and Afghanistan's National Institute of Music have won the 2018 Polar Music Prizes, a Swedish award.

It is the first time a heavy metal band gets an award given each year for significant achievements in music.

The award panel said Metallica had "through virtuoso ensemble playing and its use of extremely accelerated tempos" taken rock music "to places it had never been before." It said the Afghan ensemble "revives Afghan music, and shows you can transform lives through music."

Drummer Lars Ulrich, who co-founded Metallica, said getting the prize "puts us in very distinguished company."

They have been invited to receive their awards, including a cash prize of 1 million kronor ($124,000) each, on June 14 from members of the Swedish royal family in Stockholm.

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This story has been corrected to change the year to 2018 in the overline.

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