2017 BET Awards

Microsoft To Honor Lenny Kravitz

Microsoft is establishing a biannual award honoring achievements in digital media using its Windows Media technology, and has named Virgin Records artist Lenny Kravitz as the first winner, Billboard B

Microsoft is establishing a biannual award honoring achievements in digital media using its Windows Media technology, and has named Virgin Records artist Lenny Kravitz as the first winner, Billboard Bulletin reports. The prize, Microsoft's Windows Media Innovation Award, will be announced today (May 6). Dave Fester, GM of the Windows digital media division, says Kravitz is receiving the award for his "groundbreaking example of how to deliver music on the Internet to his fans all over the world."

Among other innovations, Kravitz was the first artist to qualify for Grammy nomination from online sales of a download (the single "Dig In"). He was also one of the first to provide a download of a music video over the Internet ("Again") and the first to offer video downloads on MTV.com and VH1.com.

The prize gives winners $25,000 in cash and $25,000 in software to donate to charities of their choice. As previously reported, Kravitz begins a European tour May 17 at the Rock Am Ring festival in Nurburgring, Germany. His North American dates begin July 12 in Virginia Beach, Va.