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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 May 2006, 08:49 GMT 09:49 UK
Award for 'pioneers' Led Zeppelin
John Paul Jones (left) and Robert Plant (centre) from Led Zeppelin, with Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf
Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf (right) presented the prize
The surviving members of Led Zeppelin have received an award recognising them as "great pioneers" of rock music.

The king of Sweden presented the group with the Polar Music Prize in Stockholm, where they recorded their final studio album 27 years ago.

Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones were joined by the daughter of drummer John Bonham, who died in 1980.

They shared the award - which is split between pop and classical musicians - with Russian conductor Valery Gergiev.

In his acceptance speech, Plant recalled that Led Zeppelin recorded their album In Through the Out Door in the Swedish capital in 1979.

"It's a long time ago," he said. "Music has been a fantastic passport to us all."

Elite award

Led Zeppelin formed in 1968 and split 12 years later, following Bonham's death.

The Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989 by Stig Anderson, manager of Swedish pop group Abba, who named it after his record label, Polar Records.

Its previous winners include Sir Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and producer Quincy Jones.

As a tribute to Mr Gergiev, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra played works by classical composers Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Mikhail Glinka and Sergeij Prokofiev.

Mr Gergiev is artistic and general director of St Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre and will be principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra from next January.

Mr Gergiev said he was "honoured to be on the same stage as my friends Led Zeppelin" and thanked his mother, "who made it possible for me to become a musician".

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