Kendrick Lamar accepted the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his 2017 album “DAMN.” in a ceremony at Columbia University in New York City on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old Compton native received a standing ovation as he was called to the stage to receive the prize for distinguished musical composition, the first the Pulitzer board has given to a non-jazz or classical artist since the awards’ inception in 1943.
In introducing Lamar, the presenter called the record a “virtuosic song collection, unified by its vernacular authenticity” that exhibits poignant vignettes “capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.”
The album, Lamar’s fourth, also picked up five Grammys this year.
The honorees were not given the opportunity to make remarks on stage, but in a video of the ceremony posted to Facebook Live, the rapper commented that he’s “been writing my whole life, so to get this type of recognition — it’s beautiful.”
He could be seen snapping selfies with CNN anchor Don Lemon as he returned to his seat.
Other photos show the rapper smiling with Ronan Farrow and David Remnick, who were honored for the New Yorker’s reporting on disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein.
The night before, Lamar had opened a performance at Madison Square Garden in front of a screen reading “Pulitzer Kenny” in large block letters.
The entire ceremony can be viewed below: