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Anna Netrebko wins Sweden's Polar Music Prize / Forbes

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Russian-born Anna Netrebko joins Grammy-winning songwriter Diane Warren as this year's recipients of Sweden's Polar Prize, often described as "the Nobel for Music." Netrebko was the first classical artist ever to be named in TIME magazine's list of the world's 100 most influential people, and Warren has sold more than 250 million records worldwide. The prize, described as music's most prestigious, is presented at a ceremony in Stockholm in June. Each recipient receives more than $100,000 (one million Swedish Kroner).

Star quality has a deeper meaning in the opera world. Being a virtuoso vocalist is not enough. As an art form, opera is also about capturing the audience's attention. No one in the modern era does that better than opera diva Anna Netrebko. As a reviewer put it, she defines the word ‘extra'. With her magnificent voice and glowing charisma, she is a larger-than-life singer who keeps the classics alive, sells out every performance and also catches the attention of audiences new to opera; Anna Netrebko opens doors. She was the first classical musician to be included in Time Magazine's ‘The Top 100 Most Influential People'. When Anna Netrebko performs, it's impossible to look away.

The Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989 by the late Stig Anderson, the publisher, lyricist and manager of ABBA. His label was called Polar Music.  PHOTO BY PATRICK MCMULLAN VIA GETTY IMAGES