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 singer and composer, whose biggest hits include Rocket Man, Your Song and Candle in the Wind, is to be given the Brits Icon Award at a show in September, which will be broadcast later by ITV.
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 this month. However, the charts veteran, 66, is expected to be recovered by the time of the awards event on 2 September, in London, at which he will be inducted as a Brits icon, as well as perform and welcome a number of guests.
Tickets for the show, at which he perform classic hits as well as songs from his forthcoming album The Diving Board, go on sale tomorrow at 10am, with proceeds going to the Brit Trust and the Royal Academy Of Music, at which Sir Elton trained.
He said: “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 has sold more than 250 million records. Candle in the Wind ’97 – released after the death of Princess Diana – is the biggest-selling single of all time.