Sting has been named the 2003 recipient of the Century Award, Billboard's highest honor for creative achievement. The award will be presented to the former Police frontman Dec. 10 at the Billboard Mus

Sting has been named the 2003 recipient of the Century Award, Billboard's highest honor for creative achievement. The award will be presented to the former Police frontman Dec. 10 at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, to air on Fox.

The Century Award was created in 1994 by the magazine's then-editor in chief, the late Timothy White, and then-publisher, Howard Lander, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the publication. Sting will be the 12th Century Award honoree, following George Harrison (1992), Buddy Guy (1993), Billy Joel (1994), Joni Mitchell (1995), Carlos Santana (1996), Chet Atkins (1997), James Taylor (1998), Emmylou Harris (1999), Randy Newman (2000), John Mellencamp (2001) and Annie Lennox (2002).

"I'm so pleased to receive this most prestigious award from Billboard magazine. This magazine meant so much to my very great friend, the late Tim White," Sting said after learning of the honor. "Tim, as editor in chief, spent 11 years nurturing and giving the magazine his lasting imprint. It will be my honor to be a part of its history and join the other illustrious recipients."

Many of the past honorees welcome Sting to the exclusive club. "He's a great writer, great singer, great performer and a spectacular bass player," Newman says. "I particularly admire the harmonic complexity of his work. He won't settle for the same old chords. He works hard, and it shows."

Similarly, Mellencamp praises Sting's singular talent. "Sting is a great artist because he has been able to reinvent himself and his music but still remain true to his own original vision."

Taylor, who performed on Sting's 1999 studio album, "Brand New Day," says, "Sting is my pal. My admiration for the man and his music continues to renew itself. He is a universally popular artist who has kept his integrity and earned the respect -- and sometimes envy -- of his peers. I only wish Tim White were here to see it."

Sting is currently prepping for the Sept. 30 U.S. release of his eighth full-length solo studio album, "Sacred Love," which he has dedicated to White. The A&M project, which comes out Sept. 22 internationally, will be accompanied by a DVD. The video for the first single, "Send Your Love," premieres Aug. 18 on VH1.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print