Damon Albarn to receive NME Innovation Award

11 February 2014, 06:00 | Updated: 11 February 2014, 12:03

Damon Albarn 2013

The Blur and Gorillaz man - now a solo artist for the first time - will be the very first recipient of the accolade, which recognises his unique contribution to music.

He will receive the honour at The NME Awards 2014 with Austin Texas at the ceremony on Wednesday 26 February at the O2 Academy Brixton.

NME editor Mike Williams says: "Damon's enduring popularity is a testament to his unrivalled talent. He is somebody who is always pushing things forward, always operating in his own sphere and forever innovating via experimentation and collaboration. Britain rarely produces songwriters of Damon's calibre, which is why he's been so popular with NME's readers for the past two decades. I don't see that popularity waning any time soon."

Arctic Monkeys lead the nominations at the NME Awards this year with mentions in eight categories.  Haim follow closely with six nominations while Queens of The Stone Age, Lily Allen and Arcade Fire all have three.