News

Sex Pistols frontman to be named Icon of music

Sex Pistols frontman to be named Icon of music

Johnny Rotten may not like it but he is starting to become Johnny Icon. Photo: Reuters

(Reuters) – Johnny Rotten may not like it but he is starting to become Johnny Icon.

The 57-year-old former frontman of the anarchic 1970s punk band the Sex Pistols is to receive an award for his contribution to music from the music rights organization BMI, although he angrily rejected previous honors.

Singer-songwriter John Lydon, who went by the name Johnny Rotten as he belted out songs like “Pretty Vacant” and “Anarchy in the UK”, will be presented with BMI’s Icon Award at a gala in London on October 15.

Lydon, with his trademark orange hair, and the Pistols are credited with launching punk rock in Britain and inspiring scores of other musicians with their expletive-ridden, anti-establishment rage.

“John Lydon is a true icon whose influence on music, fashion and art has been felt around the world,” Del Bryant, BMI President and CEO, said in a statement.

Lydon was not immediately available to comment on the award but news of the honor was posted on his website and tweeted by his current band, Public Image Ltd, suggesting he had accepted.

This would contrast with 1996, when Lydon called the U.S. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a “piss stain” when it was announced the Sex Pistols would be inducted into the Ohio museum, which adds several new acts to its ranks its year.

But Lydon does appear to have mellowed over the years.

In 2004 he appeared in the reality TV show “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!” in which participants face jungle conditions, and in 2008 in a much-maligned advert for British butter, later insisting he was proud to boost the image of a UK brand.

However he came under fire in Australia earlier this year, accused of sexism after telling a female presenter to “shut up when a man is talking”. He later apologized, saying his only enemies are governments and institutions, not women.

The BMI said its Icon award recognized musicians who have had “a unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers”. Previous recipients include Van Morrison, Bryan Ferry and Queen.

The Sex Pistols formed in 1975 and sparked controversies galore, with their appearances often resulting in chaos. The BBC refused to air the 1977 song “God Save The Queen”, released at the time of Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee.

The band’s sole studio album, “Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols”, from 1977, led to an obscenity trial.

Lydon left the Sex Pistols in 1978, announcing their demise, to form his own band, Public Image Ltd. It disbanded in the 1990s but reformed in 2009 and released its first album in 20 years last year, prompting a U.S. tour. Lydon performed last month at Britain’s biggest music festival, Glastonbury.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Third ‘Night at the Museum’ marks final film for Williams, Rooney

nightatthemuseum

The credits for "Secret of the Tomb," which opens Friday, read "In loving memory of Mickey Rooney," and "For Robin Williams - the magic never ends."

in Music

Noel Gallagher embarrassed daughter in front of Harry Styles

Noel Gallagher and Anais Gallagher at Arthur - UK film premiere held at the O2 Arena - Arrivals.
London, England - 19.04.11

Noel Gallagher left his teenage daughter mortified by embarrassing her in front of One Direction heart-throb Harry Styles.

in Music

Donny Osmond predicts end is near for One Direction

Singer Donny Osmond performs in Bryant Park on ABC's "Good Morning America" show on Friday, August 15, 2008, in New York.

Donny Osmond predicts One Direction will split up in 2016 and Harry Styles will launch a successful solo career.

in Music

Taylor Swift and J. Cole rule Billboard charts

"Woman of the Year" honoree Taylor Swift attends the 2014 Billboard Women In Music Luncheon at Cipriani Wall Street on Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, in New York.

Taylor Swift is celebrating her longest reign at the top of the U.S. pop chart after Blank Space racked up a fifth week at number one.

in Music

Stevie Wonder welcomes ninth child

In this photo provided by the Las Vegas News Bureau, Stevie Wonder performs “Songs in the Key of Life” tour Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, in Las Vegas.

Stevie Wonder and his partner Tomeeka Robyn Bracy have welcomed a daughter called Nia.