MIDEM will honor Peter Gabriel with its Personality of the Year Award at a gala dinner in Cannes, France on Jan. 28.

The former Genesis frontman and solo artist is being recognised for his music as well as his work on innovative distribution methods for music in the digital age. He was co-founder of OD2 (On Demand Distribution), which became a leading European platform provider for the distribution of music online.

"Peter Gabriel is an outstanding musician with an international following of millions," said Paul Zilk, chief executive officer of Reed MIDEM, in a statement. "He has also pioneered innovative methods of distribution in the digital environment and has explored new business models for his music and that of fellow artists. Throughout his career he has shown that music transcends pure entertainment and can be put to the service of important issues such as human rights."

Gabriel's recent digital interests include theFilter.com, a music recommendation site that creates playlists and links to iTunes and other music stores. This year, Gabriel also co-founded We7, a Web Site that gives fans free downloads in exchange for a few seconds of advertising and enables artists to get paid.

Gabriel is well known for his Real World group of companies, including a recording studio and record label. He is also active in promoting human rights and launched the international WOMAD festival.

"MIDEM has long been the central get together for the music business. I am honored to have been offered the Personality of the Year Award and look forward to coming down to Cannes in January 2008," said Gabriel, in a statement.

Previous recipients of the MIDEM Personality of the Year Award include Quincy Jones and the late Ahmet Ertegun, Atlantic Records founder and co-chairman.