To be presented at Billboard Music Awards.

Legendary vocalist Tony Bennett has been chosen as the recipient for the 2006 Billboard Century Award, the magazine's highest honor for creative achievement. The award will be presented to Bennett in December at the Billboard Music Awards, to be held in Las Vegas.

Asked what the award means to him amid a career full of milestones, Bennett tells Billboard, "It means everything. Billboard is the bible of the music business. I'm going to be 80 years old and to still have people interested in me is fantastic. My 80th feels like a big payoff to me. It's really the best year I've ever had in show business. It's been a yearlong celebration."

As previously reported, Bennett, who turned 80 yesterday (Aug. 3), will on Sept. 26 release the star-studded new album "Tony Bennett: Duets/An American Classic." The set pairs him with such collaborators as Bono, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, Barbra Streisand and Elton John.

The Century Award was created by the late Billboard editor in chief Timothy White and former publisher Howard Lander. In addition to Harrison, it has been presented to Buddy Guy, Billy Joel, Joni Mitchell, Carlos Santana, Chet Atkins, James Taylor, Emmylou Harris, Randy Newman, John Mellencamp, Annie Lennox, Sting, Stevie Wonder and Tom Petty.

For an indepth look at Bennett's banner year, see this week's issue of Billboard.