Lamar, 30, is the first rapper to win the prestigious award.
DAMN. was nominated for multiple Grammys, and took home the Grammy for Best Rap Album.
Coachella was already going to be a pretty star-studded affair, with Beyonce, The Weeknd and Eminem headlining the festival.
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Lamar has been praised and lauded for his deep lyrical content, remarkable live performances, and his profound mix of hip-hop, spoken word, jazz, soul, funk, poetry and African sounds.
Previously, the Pulitzer board has given out special honors to famous musicians Bob Dylan, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and Hank Williams, but never a rapper and never in the music category.
The New York Times also shared a second prize with The Washington Post for coverage on Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election.
The Washington Post also won the investigative reporting prize for revealing allegations of sexual misconduct against Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama decades ago.