Johnny Marr

Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr was awarded the top honor at this year’s NME Awards on Tuesday (Feb. 12), nabbing the annual “Godlike Genius” title. Marr will collect the award on February 27, when NME stages the official ceremony in London. The guitarist’s debut solo album, The Messenger, is scheduled for release two days prior to the festivities. Marr joins such previous “Godlike Genius” recipients as The Clash, The Cure and Dave Grohl.

NME editor Mike Williams praised the veteran musician as an innovator. “Not content with rewriting the history of music with one of the world's greatest ever bands, The Smiths, he's continued to push boundaries and evolve throughout his career, working with some of the best and most exciting artists on the planet," said Williams. Marr indicated he was deeply honored. “The NME seems to be good at giving this award to people I like, so I'm in good company,” he said. “I guess it means that some things are alright with the world."