NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) —
Tom Petty will receive the Century Award, Billboard¹s highest accolade for
creative achievement, at The 2005 Billboard Music Awards, airing live from
the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Dec. 6 (8:00-10:00 PM ET
live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX. Now in its 14th year, the Century Award
salutes the creative achievement of an artist's still-developing body of
Petty has been a fixture on Billboard charts for almost 30 years notching his
first chart hit in 1977. Since then, he has achieved 16 top 40 hits on The
Billboard Hot 100, including Free Fallin¹ (1990), Don't Do Me Like That
(1980) and Stop Draggin¹ My Heart Aroun² (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers¹
duet with Stevie Nicks 1981). Additionally, 10 songs in his career, including You Got Lucky, I Won¹t Back Down, Mary Jane¹s Last Dance and
You Don't Know How It Feels, have also reached No. 1 on the Mainstream
Ten of his albums–as a solo act or with the Heartbreakers or the
Traveling Wilburys supergroup–reached the top 10 on The Billboard 200.
Those include 1979¹s Damn The Torpedoes, which spent seven weeks at No. 2;
the five-times platinum Full Moon Fever, which rose to No. 3 during its 71
chart weeks; and the 10-times-platinum Greatest Hits, which crested at No.
5 during its 154-week run.
"This award comes at a particularly nice time as the Heartbreakers and I go
into the thirtieth year of our career," says Petty. "I'm very honored that
Billboard has acknowledged me with this award."
"Tom Petty is one of the true great singer/songwriters," Billboard
co-executive editor Tamara Conniff says. "Petty¹s songs and lyrics go to
the root of the American dream. For over 30 years, Petty has been a rock
icon who continues to inspire new generations of artists. We are honored to
present him with the 2005 Century Award."
Previous recipients of the Century Award include George Harrison, Buddy Guy,
Billy Joel, Joni Mitchell, Carlos Santana, Chet Atkins, James Taylor,
Emmylou Harris, Randy Newman, John Mellencamp, Annie Lennox, Sting and
Stevie Wonder. Petty introduced first Century Award recipient George
at the 1992 Billboard Music Awards. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen