US rapper Kendrick Lamar has been given the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his latest album, Damn.
The news was announced tonight as the Pulitzer team unveiled their latest raft of recipients.
It’s a huge win for Lamar: his album is the first ever non-classical or jazz release to be honoured in this way.
The official notes explain: “Recording released on April 14, 2017, a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.”
Damn, stylised as DAMN., was a big hit in 2017, accumulating an astonishing 340 million streams in its first week.
It also raked up 603,000 equivalent sales in seven days in the US alone, scoring an aggregated score on Metacritic of 95/100.
Elsewhere, Andrew Sean Greer won the Fiction prize for Less, while Martyna Majok won the Drama prize for Cost of Living.
The Poetry prize was scooped by Frank Bidart’s Half-Light, while Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser was triumphant for Biography.
At time of writing, Lamar has not addressed his victory on social media.
Damn has had lots of acclaim already: it was nominated for Album of the Year and won Best Rap Album at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, and has been certified double-platinum by the RIAA.
Its lead single Humble was No1 in the US and No6 in the UK, and it also spawned the hits Loyalty and Love.
More recently, Lamar took charge of the Black Panther soundtrack, including its lead single All The Stars with SZA.