John Lydon to get Icon Award

Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd frontman John Lydon is to be given an Icon Award by music rights organisation the BMI.

He’ll be guest of honour at a gala event in London’s Dorchester Hotel on October 15.

The award is granted to songwriters who have left “a unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers” and previous recipients include Queen, Ray Davies, Steve Winwood and Bryan Ferry.

BMI president Del Bryant says: “John is a true icon whose influence on music, fashion and art has been felt around the world. We’re very pleased to recognise his impact on popular culture and his outstanding musical contributions.”

The former Johnny Rotten’s writing credits include Pistols classics Anarchy In The UK, God Save The Queen and Pretty Vacant, along with PIL tracks Rise, This Is Not A Love Song, Warrior and Public Image.

PIL released a This Is PIL, their first album in 20 years, in 2012. It was followed by a world tour, including a trip to China in April this year – which, to Lydon’s surprise, was approved by the nation’s authorities after they asked to read every lyric he’d ever written.

He said: “They have either incredible good taste or they have no idea what I’m going on about. I can’t wait to find out. I hope their prison food is better than elsewhere. I’ve been in jails all around the world; I’m due an update.”

The band appeared at this year’s Glastonbury festival