Celebrating the best of Canadian music from 2017. The Polaris Prize awards the best full-length Canadian album based on artistic merit, regardless of genre, sales, or record label. Hear this year's short-list nominees A Tribe Called Red, Tragically Hip, Leonard Cohen, Feist and more
Lido Pimienta has won the 2017 Polaris Music Prize for the album La Papessa.
The $50,000 prize was awarded by the Polaris grand jury tonight in Toronto. Gala performers included shortlisted nominees Feist, Lisa LeBlanc, Lido Pimienta, Tanya Tagaq, Leif Vollebekk and Weaves.
Pimienta accepted the award with her mom and son by her side, adding later at a press conference that she plans on spending her winnings on her mom. "I'm going to do what Cardi B does," she says, quoting the famous rapper's "Bodak Yellow" line: "I pay my mama bills/ I ain't got no time to chill."
Pimienta also notes that this win is beyond her, that taking home the prize "means that you don't have to be white, you don't have to be skinny, you don't have to be blonde, you don't have to sing in English or French, and you can stand by what you want to say."
"I have a very focused point of view, a very clear point of view," she continues. "And I won't compromise it, and I don't compromise it. Maybe if I did songs that rhymed with 'baby' in English, I would be a Grammy Award whatever, whatever, but I like that I'm at this point in my career on my own terms."
Pimienta ended her onstage speech, visibly annoyed by sound issues during her performance, but Polaris Music Prize founder Steve Jordan was quick to apologize to the winner at the press conference afterwards.
On La Papessa, the Toronto-based musician tackles everything from sexuality to colonization, while combining a myriad of musical styles. Read more about the album here.