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LONDON – Legendary musician and famously anti-establishment snarler John Lydon is about to join the establishment — the music establishment, at least.
Lydon, the onetime frontman of British punk icons The Sex Pistols, is to be presented with an Icon award at the annual BMI awards in the British capital.
As frontman of the Pistols under his stage name Johnny Rotten, Lydon cemented his infamy and his band’s reputation for not playing by the rules on Bill Grundy‘s early evening show Today in 1976 on British television.
The YouTube footage of Rotten and his Pistols bandmembers in the TV studio swearing and claiming Grundy was a pervert still attracts viewers and is often aped by comedy skit shows.
At the time, it caused a public outcry as Grundy’s career was left in ruins. EMI was pressured to drop the band, which it did months later.
Lydon will be honored at a ceremony Oct. 15 in recognition of his “unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers,” according to the U.K. music industry trade body.
BMI president and CEO Del Bryant said: “John Lydon is a true icon whose influence on music, fashion and art has been felt around the world. We are very pleased to recognize his impact on popular culture and his outstanding musical contributions with the BMI Icon Award.”
Lydon’s career includes writing Sex Pistols singles including “Anarchy in the U.K.,” “God Save the Queen,” “Pretty Vacant” and “Holidays in the Sun,” all on the band’s one and only album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols.
Lydon left the Pistols in 1978 to form his own band Public Image Ltd, which produced eight studio albums and singles including “Rise.”
In 2012, Lydon and PiL rolled back the years to release their first album in 20 years, This Is PiL, and went on tour to support the rollout.
Lydon joins previous BMI Icon Award honorees including Ray Davies, Steve Winwood, Van Morrison, Bryan Ferry and Queen.
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