Patti Smith and Kronos Quartet accept Polar music prize

Patti Smith Smith greeted fans on her way in to the ceremony

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Rocker Patti Smith and US string group Kronos Quartet have received the 2011 Polar Music Prize.

King Carl XVI Gustaf presented each act with their one million kronor (£96,555) prize at a gala ceremony in Stockholm on Tuesday.

Sweden's highest music honour is typically shared by a pop artist and a classical musician.

Smith, who thanked her family and band members, said she was "humbled and inspired" to receive the prize.

In her acceptance speech, she appealed to the audience to "turn their hearts, minds and resources" to the famine in Africa.

The Kronos Quartet, which is based in San Francisco, incorporates avant-garde rock and music from a variety of sources worldwide.

Smith was known as the 'godmother of punk', particularly in light of her influential debut album Horses - which she described as "three chord rock merged with the power of the word".

Her best-known songs include Because the Night, co-written by Bruce Springsteen.

The Polar Music Prize was founded by Stig Anderson, the manager of Swedish pop group ABBA, in 1989.

It is awarded to individuals, groups or institutions in recognition of exceptional achievements in the creation and advancement of music.

Last year's prize was shared by Ennio Morricone and Icelandic singer Bjork.

Other previous winners include Sir Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd and Stevie Wonder.

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