American songwriter Diane Warren wins Sweden's Polar Music Prize

FILE PHOTO: 25th Critics Choice Awards – Arrivals – Santa Monica, California, U.S., January 12, 2020 - Diane Warren. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - American songwriter Diane Warren, who has penned hits for singers Celine Dion, Cher and Lady Gaga, was awarded Sweden’s Polar Music Prize on Tuesday.

Founded in 1989 by Stig Anderson, publisher and manager of the Swedish band ABBA, previous winners include Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Elton John and Metallica.

“Getting the Polar Music Prize is amazing ... when I looked at the past recipients of it, that I could be in that kind of company is kind of mind blowing,” Warren said in a video on award-giving body’s website.

Cher, speaking in the same video, said; “She’s a great writer, there’s nobody better than her.”

Warren, known for her epic romantic pop ballads, has had over 80 songs charted in the top 10, according to the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, which she was inducted into in 2001.

She wrote Lady Gaga’s 2015 hit “Til It Happens to You”, a song from the perspective of a victim of sexual assault which helped galvanise the #MeToo movement.

Two prizes are given out each year, traditionally to one classical and one pop musician. The committee also rewarded the Austrian-Russian soprano Anna Netrebko, one of the most prominent virtuosos in the opera world.

Both winners receive 1 million Swedish crowns ($103,500).

(This story corrects headline to read songwriter, not lyricist)

Reporting by Colm Fulton, editing by Ed Osmond