Stevie Wonder to Receive 'Icon Award' at 2012 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS
Singer, songwriter, musician and producer Stevie Wonder will receive the 2012 Billboard Icon Award. An all-star tribute to him, along with the award, will be presented at the "2012 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS," hosted by Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell, which airs live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on SUNDAY, MAY 20 (8:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. Lisa Marie Presley, Wiz Khalifa, Luke Bryan, Robin Thicke, Brandy, Monica and Miley Cyrus have been announced as presenters. They join previously announced presenters Taio Cruz, Gavin DeGraw, Gladys Knight, Julianne Hough, Natasha Bedingfield and Jeremy Sisto, along with musical acts Kelly Clarkson, Linkin Park, Nelly Furtado, Usher, Carrie Underwood, Justin Bieber, LMFAO and The Wanted.
Stevie Wonder is one of the most celebrated and prominent figures in popular music who, at the age of 13, was the youngest recording artist to achieve a No. 1 single with "Fingertips, Part 2," and subsequently was also the first to simultaneously reach No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100, R&B Singles and Album Charts. To date he has amassed 49 Top 40 singles, 32 No. 1 singles, and worldwide sales of over 100 million units. He has won 25 Grammy Awards, the prestigious Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award.
While Stevie Wonder's songs are unequivocally classic and his influence timeless, equally laudable are his humanitarian efforts, philanthropic leadership and generosity of spirit. He has received awards from the President's Committee on Employment of Handicapped People, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the Children's Diabetes Foundation and the American Association of People with Disabilities.
In 1983 Wonder spearheaded the realization of "Martin Luther King Day" as a national holiday. His participation in the 1985 "We Are the World" fundraiser for hunger in Africa was a music industry milestone, while his involvement to put an end to apartheid in South Africa is legendary. In 1999 he became the youngest recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors. He is also a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Apollo Theatre Hall of Fame.
In 2009 Wonder was awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song and performed his commission, "Sketches of a Life," which placed him in a very select group of eminent composers who have received library commissions, ranging from Aaron Copeland and Leonard Bernstein to Paquito D'Rivera. Wonder is a Commander of France's National Order of Arts and Letters and is a designated United Nations Messenger of Peace with a special focus on persons with disabilities.
Finalists for the Billboard Music Awards are based on key fan interactions with music, including album, single and digital sales, airplay, touring, streaming and social interactions on MySpace, Facebook and many of the other most popular online destinations for music. The awards will be based on the reporting period of February 28, 2011 through March 1, 2012.
The "2012 Billboard Music Awards" is co-executive produced by Richard D. Beckman, CEO Prometheus Global Media and Don Mischer Productions. The special will be shot in high definition and broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC's selected HD format, with 5.1 channel surround sound.
The MGM Grand Garden Arena is home to concerts, championship boxing and premier sporting and special events. The Arena offers comfortable seating for as many as 16,800 with excellent sightlines and state-of-the-art acoustics, lighting and sound. Prominent events to date have included world championship fights between Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson as well as Oscar de la Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez; and concerts by The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Bette Midler, George Strait, Janet Jackson, Phil Collins, Billy Joel, U2, Lady Gaga, Sting, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Jimmy Buffett and the Barbra Streisand Millennium Concert. The MGM Grand Garden Arena also is home to the annual Academy of Country Music Awards, annual Billboard Music Awards and the Frozen Fury NHL pre-season game which features the Los Angeles Kings vs. Colorado Avalanche. www.mgmgrand.com
Tickets prices begin at $57.75 for Upper Level, not including applicable service charges and taxes, are now on sale and available at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith's Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
Visit www.Billboard.com/BBMA.com for a complete list of finalists and to apply for media credentials. Music fans can also follow news about the show or related events on Twitter at www.twitter.com/billboarddotcom or Facebook at www.facebook.com/billboard.