Kendrick Lamar Wins Pulitzer Prize for "DAMN."

This afternoon, Pulitzer administrator Dana Canedy announced the official list of Pulitzer Prize winners to a crowd of press gathered at the Columbia School of Journalism in New York. As usual, the list of honorees was packed with brilliant journalists, poets, and writers of all kinds. But most notable among them this year is perhaps Kendrick Lamar, who was awarded the prize in music for his 2017 album, DAMN.

At just 30 years old, Kendrick Lamar can already boast a lengthy list of accomplishments. His first major label debut record, Good Kid, m.A.A.d city, debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200, earned him seven Grammy nominations (but no wins), and was certified platinum soon after.

His 2015 follow-up, To Pimp a Butterfly, was also nominated for multiple Grammys and ended up winning Best Rap Album, with two tracks also taking home Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance.

Last April, Lamar released his fourth studio album, DAMN., to widespread critical acclaim. His single "Humble" reached the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 (a first for Lamar), and the album was certified double platinum last July. In addition to Best Music Video, DAMN. swept all four of the rap categories at the Grammys this year (bringing Lamar's all-time Grammy tally to 12). The album was also chosen as by Billboard as its Year-End number one album of 2017.

Kendrick Lamar - DNA./Humble

Though DAMN. is clearly worthy of the recognition it has been getting from the rest of the music industry, Lamar's Pulitzer Prize is a bit of a happy surprise, marking the first time the organization has awarded a musician outside of the classical or jazz genres.

On their website, Pulitzer Prize called DAMN. "...a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life."


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