Elton John is to be the first recipient of a new annual honour launched by the Brit Awards organiser, the British Phonographic Industry.

The new award was created to celebrate major British figures in music and will go to an artist who has made a "lasting impact" on British culture.

John has sold more than 250 million records worldwide and his song, Candle in the Wind, released following the death of Princess Diana, is the biggest-selling single of all time.

The 66-year-old music legend will receive the Brits Icon award at a show in September which will be broadcast later in the month by ITV.

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 singer was forced to cancel his show in Hyde Park earlier this month due to appendicitis, however he is expected to recover in time for the event.