Pulitzer Prize Awarded to Late Music Critic Greg Tate for Groundbreaking Work

Music critic Greg Tate has been awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his groundbreaking contributions to music journalism, exploring the intersections of race, culture, and music in a way that had never been done before.

The late Greg Tate, a renowned music critic and author, has been posthumously awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his contributions to the field of music journalism. The Pulitzer Prize Board announced on June 11, 2021, that Tate would receive a “Special Citation” for his groundbreaking work in the industry.

Tate, who passed away in 2018 at the age of 64, was known for his insightful and thought-provoking writing on music, particularly in the genres of jazz, hip-hop, and rock. He was a prolific writer, with his work appearing in publications such as The Village Voice, The New York Times, and Rolling Stone.

Throughout his career, Tate championed and celebrated the work of Black musicians, often exploring the intersections of race, culture, and music in his writing. He was also a musician himself, playing guitar and bass in various bands, including the Black Rock Coalition.

The Pulitzer Prize Board recognized Tate’s impact and legacy in the music industry, stating that he “broke new ground in music criticism, exploring the connections between race, culture, and music in a way that had never been done before.” They also praised his ability to “capture the essence of an artist’s work and its impact on society.”

Tate’s family and colleagues expressed their joy and gratitude for the recognition of his work. His sister, Constance Tate-Duncan, said, “Greg was a true pioneer in music journalism, and this award is a testament to his talent and dedication to the craft.” Musician and friend, Vernon Reid, added, “Greg’s writing was always ahead of its time, and it’s wonderful to see him receive this recognition.”

Tate’s posthumous Pulitzer Prize joins a long list of accolades he received throughout his career, including a Grammy nomination for his liner notes on the album “Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber’s Making Love to the Dark Ages.” He also published several books, including “Flyboy in the Buttermilk: Essays on Contemporary America” and “Everything But the Burden: What White People are Taking from Black Culture.”

The Pulitzer Prize Board’s decision to award Tate a “Special Citation” highlights the importance and impact of his work in the music industry. His writing and insights continue to inspire and influence generations of music lovers and critics, making his legacy a lasting one.

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