Sir Elton John is to be the first recipient of a new Brit Icon award, given for the Rocket Man’s “lasting impact on the nation’s culture”.
The award will be presented at a show thrown by the BPI – the music industry organisation which runs the Brits – in September and then will become an annual fixture, handed to an artist who has had a similar impact on UK culture.
Speaking about the award, John 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.”
John, 66, has recently been struck down by illness, having to undergo surgery after for appendicitis and being forced to cancel a number of summer concert dates. However, the Crocodile Rock singer hopes to be better again in time for the Brit Icon award show.
BPI and Brit Awards chief executive Geoff Taylor said of the singer: “[He has] achieved such a level of artistic creativity and originality, critical acclaim, global recognition and popular success,” he deserves to be recognised as a “true icon of our cultural life”.
John has sold over 250 million records in his career, and holds the record for the best selling single of all time, Candle in the Wind ’97, which was released in the wake of the death of Princess Diana and has sold 33 million copies.