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[10/13/05 - 12:00 AM]
Tom Petty to Receive the Century Award at "The 2005 Billboard Music Awards" Tuesday, December 6, on FOX

[via press release from FOX]

TOM PETTY TO RECEIVE THE CENTURY AWARD AT "THE 2005 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS" TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, ON FOX

Tom Petty will receive the Century Award, Billboard's highest accolade for creative achievement, at THE 2005 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS, airing live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Tuesday, 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 work.

Petty has been a fixture on Billboard charts for more than 25 years, seeing his first chart ink in 1977. Since then, he has achieved 16 top-40 hits on The Billboard Hot 100, including "Free Fallin'" (1990), "Don't Do Me Like That" (1980) and "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' duet with Stevie Nicks, 1981). Additionally, 10 songs in his career � including "You Got Lucky," "I Won't Back Down," "Mary Jane's Last Dance" and "You Don't Know How It Feels" � have also reached No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock chart.

Ten of Petty's albums � as a solo act or with the Heartbreakers or the Traveling Wilburys supergroup � reached the top 10 on The Billboard 200. Those include 1979's "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 30th 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. "Petty's 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 Harrison at "The 1992 Billboard Music Awards."

THE BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS recognizes the year's leading artists and songs as determined by actual performance on Billboard's weekly charts. Based on sales data compiled by Nielsen SoundScan and radio information monitored by Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems, Billboard's music charts are the world's most authoritative. Winners are determined by the 2005 year-end charts, which will reflect the weekly Billboard charts published from December 2004 through November 2005.

Now in its 111th year, Billboard is the world's premier music publication and a diverse digital, events and brand-licensing platform. Billboard publishes the most trusted charts and offers unrivaled reporting about the latest music, video, gaming, media and digital entertainment issues and trends. Billboard is the flagship property for the Billboard Information Group, which also consists of Billboard.biz, Billboard.com, Entertainment Law Weekly, Billboard Chart Alert, Billboard Information Network (BIN), Billboard Directories, Billboard Licensing & Events and Billboard Radio Monitor. Billboard's many strategic partners include Microsoft, mForma, Reuters, Sirius Satellite Radio, Telemundo, Univision Radio, ABC Radio Networks, Azteca America and Billboard sister companies Nielsen SoundScan and Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems. These partnerships leverage Billboard's proprietary data, charts and information resources to develop broadcast entertainment, digital and mobile platforms and contextual commerce applications that expand Billboard's franchise and consumer reach.

Billboard is headquartered in New York with bureaus in Boston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville and Washington, DC. The Group is a unit of VNU Business Media, a worldwide media company that provides specialized publications, electronically delivered data, expositions and marketing services and is owned by VNU Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Netherlands-based VNU, an international publishing and information company.

MGM Grand, "The City of Entertainment" in Las Vegas, features 5,034 guest rooms and suites, a state-of-the-art gaming complex, world-class entertainment venues, signature restaurants by celebrity chefs and the $100 million Conference Center for meetings/conventions, all centrally located on the Las Vegas Strip. For room availability and information about MGM Grand, call (800) 929-1111 or (702) 891-7777 or log onto the website at www.mgmgrand.com.

Bob Bain returns for his 10th year as executive producer of THE BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS. Bruce Gowers will direct and Greg Sills will serve as supervising producer. Paul Flattery is producer and Wylleen May is the executive in charge of production.





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