Veteran bluesman Bb King is to be honoured by the ROYAL SWEDISH ACADEMY OF MUSIC with the POLAR MUSIC PRIZE.

The legendary guitarist will be handed the award by Sweden's KING CARL XVI GUSTAF at the 24 May (04) event.

The Royal Academy has selected King because of "his achievements in spreading the blues throughout the world", which "proved of fundamental importance to the development of modern popular music".

Previous recipients of the prestigious prize include Sir Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, SIR Elton John and Ray Charles.

16/10/2003 13:43