Geoff Travis, who founded influential British record label Rough Trade, will be presented with the Pioneer Award by officials at the Association of Independent Music (Aim) during a ceremony in September (13).
Travis launched his London-based record company in the late 1970s and scored a major coup when he signed The Smiths in 1983 under the noses of several major labels.
The move turned Rough Trade into one of the most important record companies in the U.K. and it continued to attract a roster of cult bands before financial problems forced Travis to sell its catalogue in the late 1980s.
Despite the setback, Travis continued to work in the industry and in 1999, he resurrected the Rough Trade label and proved he still had an eye for the next big thing by signing The Strokes after seeing them playing at a tiny venue in New York in 2000.
The rejuvenated Rough Trade went on to snap up Arcade Fire, The Libertines, Antony & The Johnsons, and Sufjan Stevens.
Speaking of the news he will receive the prestigious honour, Travis says, "There is not much that betters having respect from your peers. So thank you Aim."
Alison Wenham, chairman of Aim, says, "Geoff is an icon not just amongst independents but across the whole industry. He shows the way, he inspires, he is and always has been true to his beliefs. We salute you Geoff."
Travis is the third recipient of the Pioneer Award - the previous winners are Daniel Miller of Mute Records and Laurence Bell from Domino Recording Co.