Tom Morello Wins the 2024 Woody Guthrie Prize

He succeeds Pussy Riot, who won in 2023

BY Megan LaPierrePublished May 30, 2024

Gemini king Tom Morello has his 60th birthday to celebrate today — and a whole lot more. The Rage Against the Machine guitarist has just been announced as the recipient of this year's Woody Guthrie Prize, which has recognized "outstanding contributions to music and activism" on an annual basis over the last decade.

He succeeds Pussy Riot, who were awarded the 2023 iteration of the prize. Morello will receive the award on September 25 at Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa, OK, where he'll also do a Q&A and a brief acoustic performance.

"Woody Guthrie was a fearless agitator, a six string instigator, a poetic truth teller and a harmonizing hell raiser," the musician said in a statement. "He was the original punk rocker whose life, music, art and lyrics were beacons of justice and liberation for the downtrodden and oppressed. In my own work Woody has been an inspiration to tell it like I see it without compromise or apology and to play my songs (and his songs) on the picket line and at the barricade whenever and wherever people are taking a stand."

Morello, who has championed causes ranging from Macklemore's pro-Palestinian anthem to unionizing strip clubs, certainly fulfills the bill of "exemplify[ing] Guthrie's spirit and work by speaking for the less fortunate." 

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