Sir Elton John is to become the first recipient of the Brits Icon award, a new honour devised by the Brit Awards organisers to celebrate influential figures in music.
The prize, created by the music industry’s trade body, the BPI, is awarded to an artist whose writing, recording and performances are deemed to have made a “lasting impact” on UK culture.
The 66-year-old singer, whose hits include Crocodile Rock and Candle in the Wind ’97, released to commemorate the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, will perform and receive the award during a special ceremony on 2 September.
“It’s a tremendous honour and a real thrill for me to have my work acknowledged in this way,” he said, “and I’m really looking forward to participating in what promises to be a very special occasion.”
BPI and Brit Awards chief executive, Geoff Taylor, added that Sir Elton had “achieved such a level of artistic creativity and originality, critical acclaim, global recognition and popular success” and that he deserved recognition as a “true icon of our cultural life”.
Proceeds from the event will go to the Brit Trust and the Royal Academy of Music where Sir Elton trained.