Kendrick Lamar Accepts His Pulitzer Prize: 'It's an Honor'

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Kendrick Lamar
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Kendrick Lamar made history Wednesday when he accepted a Pulitzer Prize for Music for his groundbreaking album DAMN. 

The best-selling rapper attended the Pulitzer ceremony at Columbia University in New York City, and received a standing ovation when he came up to accepted the prestigious award.

Lamar's presence at the ceremony was met with extreme fanfare, as attendees snapped photos and posed for pics with the celebrated rapper, before and after he received the award.

Upon winning the Pulitzer Prize for Music back in April, Lamar became the first hip-hop artist, and the first non-classic or jazz artist, to ever receive the lauded honor.

While the "Humble" rapper didn't make any remarks while accepting the award, he did briefly address the momentous occasion during the award's Facebook lived video.

"It's an honor," Lamar shared. "Been writing my whole life, so to get this type of recognition is beautiful."

LIVE from Columbia University in the City of New York! The awards ceremony is starting now.

Posted by Pulitzer Prizes on Wednesday, May 30, 2018

During the ceremony, Lamar sat at a table with CBS This Morning co-anchor Gayle King and smiled for selfies with CNN anchor Don Lemon.

Along with the historic distinction, Lamar will receive $15,000, along with the prize. The special honor has previously gone to artists like Bob Dylan, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and Hank Williams.

However, the Compton-born lyricist is now the most commercially successful artist to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for music.

Before accepting the award, the ceremony's presenter praised DAMN. effusively, calling it a "virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African American life."


The powerful album, released in April 2017, has also received tons of critical acclaim since its release, taking home Album of the Year at the 2017 BET Hip Hop Awards, Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album at the 2017 American Music Awards, and Hip-Hop Album of the Year at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards, among numerous other accolades.

DAMN. also won for Best Rap Album at the 2018 GRAMMYs -- where it was also nominated for Album of the Year -- and Lamar opened the show with a fiery performance which was met with a standing ovation from the massive audience. Check out the video below for a look at his powerful opening number. 

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