(Stockholm) The Franco-Beninese singer Angélique Kidjo won the international Polar Music Prize on Tuesday, together with the British founder of the record label Island Records Chris Blackwell and the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt.

Born in 1960 one month before the independence of Benin (then Dahomey), she has been singing for more than 30 years in her paternal and maternal languages, Fon and Yoruba, as well as in French and English.

“Angélique Kidjo is a source of inspiration. She is one of the best performers-composers in international music,” praised the Swedish jury in a press release.

Nicknamed “ the African diva ” by Time magazine, she has already won five Grammys, the biggest awards in American music.

Briton Chris Blackwell, 85, created the record company Island Records in 1959, which became legendary after hosting Bob Marley, Cat Stevens, Roxy Music and U2.

Arvo Pärt, described at 87 as “ the most played living composer in the world ” by the jury, was awarded for his invention in the 1970s of “ tintinnabuli ”, a musical writing technique.

Founded in 1989 by former ABBA manager Stig Anderson, the Polar Music Prize last year rewarded Iggy Pop and songwriter Diane Warren.

The prizes, as well as a sum of 600,000 crowns (about 53,600 euros), will be presented to the winners in Stockholm on May 23.