Not only is Lamar the first rapper to ever be awarded a Pulitzer, he's also the first non-jazz or non-classical recording artist to win one of the prestigious awards.
The Pulitzer board on Monday called the album a work that captures the complexity of African-American life.
Lamar's musical success helped him win 12 Grammy Awards, though all three of his major-label albums have lost in the top category - album of the year.
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While the Pulitzer's usual laudatory blurb explaining the reasoning behind the award was not available at press time, there's little doubt about the impact Lamar has had on hip-hop, music and culture since he broke into the mainstream with his 2012 album "Good Kid, M.A.A.D City".
"DAMN.", which reached number one on the United States albums chart, moves forward the conversation about race that Lamar started on his previous album, "To Pimp a Butterfly", which infused jazz and spoken word and gave voice to the Black Lives Matter movement.
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The rapper, born in Compton, California, was hand-picked by Black Panther director Ryan Coogler to curate an album to accompany the ubiquitously successful film, giving Lamar yet again another No. 1 effort and highly praised project.
The Pulitzer for fiction went to Andrew Sean Greer for Less about growing older and love.
Beginning third from left, New York Times staff writers Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, senior enterprise editor Rebecca Corbett and reporter Cara Buckley celebrate with colleagues in the newsroom in New York after the team they led won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service on Monday, April 16, 2018. Prairie Fires, a life of author Laura Ingalls Wilder by Carolyn Fraser, won for biography. The Pulitzer committee called it "an important environmental history of the Gulf of Mexico". Reuters also won in the feature photography category for its coverage of the Rohingya crisis.
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