Brit Awards organisers are to launch a new annual honour to celebrate major figures in music with Elton John announced as the first ever recipient.
The 'Rocket Man' and 'Your Song' star 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”.
The singer has recently been treated for appendicitis which resulted in his shows being cancelled including a headline appearance at Hyde Park this month.
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 on Monday 2 September 2013, which will be filmed for broadcast later in the month on ITV.
Tickets for the show – at which he perform classic hits as well as songs from forthcoming album 'The Diving Board' – will go on sale on Tuesday at 10am, with proceeds going to the Brit Trust and the Royal Academy Of Music, at which he 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.”
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.”
Elton John has sold more than 250 million records worldwide and his track 'Candle In The Wind ’97' – released in the wake of the death of Diana, Princess Of Wales – is the biggest selling single of all time, after shifting 33 million copies.