Blur for Brits award

Blur will receive the award for Outstanding Contribution to Music at the 2012 Brit Awards. The awards, which take place on February 21 2012, will honour the band for two decades of success in British music.

The band are best-known for spearheading the Britpop movement of the mid-90s with their iconic Parklife album, but they have made innovative music across a wide variety of styles and genres.

The band last surfaced in 2009 with reunion gigs and a well-received headline slot at Glastonbury. Recently frontman Damon Albarn has hinted that a new Blur album and live shows might be in the pipeline. The members recorded together briefly in the summer of 2011.

"It's great to have recognition for all the work and all the heartache and all the joy that's gone into this band," Albarn said when he heard the news of the Brits award.

Albarn and guitarist Graham Coxon seem to have reconciled their differences, helped by their hiatus to look after their solo careers. Albarn has performed solo, with Gorillaz, and The Good The Bad And The Queen, and composed a Chinese opera, confirming his status as pop music’s Renaissance man.

"We're the same gang we ever were, we've just landed in a different era," Coxon said. "Or possibly we're a totally different Blur still playing the old tunes in 1991, forever."

The Outstanding Contribution award was rested in 2011, but past winners include most of the obvious figures in the rock aristocracy, including Sir Paul McCartney, Oasis and U2

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