Honor to be presented Dec. 8 during Billboard Awards.
For his enduring influence and contributions to music, Stevie Wonder has been named the 2004 recipient of the Billboard Century Award. The honor will be presented Dec. 8 during the annual Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. The program will air on Fox.
Wonder is the 13th Century Award honoree. He follows George Harrison (who received the inaugural award in 1992), Buddy Guy, Billy Joel, Joni Mitchell, Carlos Santana, Chet Atkins, James Taylor, Emmylou Harris, Randy Newman, John Mellencamp, Annie Lennox and Sting.
"It's an honor to be included in the amazing group of artists who have received Billboard's Century Award," Wonder says. Borrowing from one of his many hits, he adds, "I'm overjoyed."
Wonder presented the Century Award to Sting last year.
Billboard's highest honor for creative achievement, the Century Award was created in 1992 by the late Timothy White, who was editor in chief, and then-publisher Howard Lander, to commemorate the impending 100th anniversary of the magazine in 1994.
"Stevie Wonder is an American icon," Billboard co-executive editor Tamara Conniff says. "His genius has transformed not only R&B, but popular music overall. He has used his vibrant music as a vehicle to sing about the highs and lows of romance while not shying away from addressing racial, social and spiritual issues. Stevie represents the essence of the Billboard Century Award -- an artist whose career and body of work continues to evolve and influence new generations of musicians. We are honored to present him with our 2004 accolade."