Elton John first Brits Icon recipient
Brit Awards organisers are to launch a new annual honour to celebrate major figures in music with Sir Elton John announced as the first ever recipient.
The 'Rocket Man' singer is to be given the Brits Icon Award at a show in September.
The new prize - created by the BPI, music industry's trade body - will stand alone from the main Brit Awards each year and will be presented to a notable artist whose writing, recording and performances have made a "lasting impact on the nation's culture".
Sir Elton has recently been treated for appendicitis which resulted in his shows being cancelled including a headline appearance at Hyde Park.
But he is expected to be recovered by the time of the event on September 2 at which he will perform and welcome a number of guests.
The chart veteran, 66, will be inducted as a Brits Icon at the inaugural event in central London.
"It's a tremendous honour and a real thrill for me to have my work acknowledged in this way, and I'm really looking forward to participating in what promises to be a very special occasion," Sir Elton said.
The BPI and Brit Awards chief executive Geoff Taylor said: "The Brit Awards has recognised many exceptional artists whose music has connected with millions of fans. A few of these artists, such as Sir Elton John, have achieved such a level of artistic creativity and originality, critical acclaim, global recognition and popular success that they deserve to be recognised as true icons of our cultural life."
Brit Awards chairman Christian Tattersfield said: "Britain leads the world when it comes to making great music. Part of this appeal is down to an incredibly diverse and vibrant music scene, with much of it coming from exciting new talent, but its foundation is undoubtedly built on a select group of artists that we now quite rightly revere as icons.
"Sir Elton is amongst the greatest of these living legends, inspiring generations of fans and other artists alike with his era-defining music, and there can be few more worthy recipients of this inaugural Brits Icon award."
Sir Elton John has sold more than 250 million records worldwide and his track Candle In The Wind '97 - released following the death of Diana, Princess Of Wales - is the biggest selling single of all time, after shifting 33 million copies.
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