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Swedish hitmaker Max Martin takes home top music prize

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Swedish producer Max Martin. Photo: Axel Öberg/Polar Music Prize
09:15 CET+01:00
Swedish music producer Max Martin and Italian mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli have been announced as this year's winners of Sweden's prestigious Polar Music Prize.

The award will be handed out by Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at Stockholm's concert hall on June 16th.

The first Swede ever to win the prize, Max Martin is one of the world's most successful producers, boasting a resume that includes creating massive hits for artists such as Britney Spears, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift.

Britney's breakthrough hit 'Baby One More Time'? That was Max Martin. Katy Perry's 'I Kissed A Girl'? Yup, that one too.

Sweden's top music export since Abba has written or co-written 21 hits that have made number one on US singles chart Billboard since 1999, bested only by Beatles legends Paul McCartney and John Lennon.

"Right now, at this very moment, someone, somewhere in the world will be singing a hit song written and produced by Max Martin. With his ear for song melodies, his musical precision and craftmanship, he has refined and developed the world's popular music," read the Polar jury's announcement.

READ ALSO: Who is the shy Swede behind those smash hits?

Opera singer Cecilia Bartoli was born in Rome, Italy, and has interpreted classical composers ranging from Mozart to Rossini.

"With a vocal range of three octaves and a unique ability to live a role with fullness of expression, [she] has developed song as an art form," said the jury.

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The Polar Music Prize was created in 1989 by Abba's legendary manager, the late Stig 'Stikkan' Anderson.

Last year the one-million kronor prize ($119,000) was awarded to American queen-of-country-music Emmylou Harris and Scottish percussionist Evelyn Glennie.

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