Each year, Sweden's Polar Music Prize — which is widely referred to as the "Nobel Prize of music" — is awarded to one contemporary and one classical musician. In the past, the honor has gone to artists including Paul McCartney and Led Zeppelin, and this year the contemporary prize went to none other than Metallica.
Lars Ulrich and Robert Trujillo represented their band at the award ceremony, where they were joined by Deep Purple's Roger Glover and Ian Paice — Deep Purple have been one of Metallica's biggest inspirations and Metallica inducted them into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Glover and Paice returned that favor by taking to the stage to read the official citation to the band for winning the Polar Prize; they recounted seeing Metallica for the first time at a festival and realizing there was something special at play when they noticed that every fan in the crowd was singing along.
Afterward, Ulrich and Trujillo took to the stage and were handed the award by Carl XVI Gustaf, the King of Sweden. Ulrich addressed the crowd saying, "Music can be both a transformative and healing experience." The drummer went on to recount Metallica's journey through the years, and how they always felt like outsiders, but their connection to their fans brought them to mainstream success.
Also that night, Metallica were honored by covers of some of their work by Swedish musicians. Ghost's Cardinal Copia, Candlemass and Swedish duo Vargas & Lagola took on "Enter Sandman," while Refused's Dennis Lyxzén and the Scorpions' Mikkey Dee joined forces for a unique cello-assisted rendition of "Whiplash." Tuva Syvertsen, Loreen and Loney Dear sang "One," "Nothing Else Matters" and "Wherever I May Roam," respectively. See videos of all those performances below.