Simon Cowell's Outstanding award
Oct 15, 2008, 9:55 GMT
Simon Cowell is set to receive the Outstanding Contribution to Music award at next year's BRITs.
The 'American Idol' and 'X Factor' judge is being lined up to be honoured with the prestigious accolade in February, but his rumoured nod has sparked controversy as he would be the first non-recording artist to win the prize.
A source told Britain's The Sun newspaper: "It Cowell gets the big gong it will cause an almighty stink in the music business.
"He will be the first pop Svengali to win rather than an artist - the publicity worldwide would be enormous.
''X Factor' is looking like it is having another weak year in terms of new stars so he is open to the idea, and the the timing is perfect to highlight the success of Leona Lewis in the US."
Organisers had originally planned to present the award to 'Careless Whisper' singer George Michael, but he is now out of the running following his recent arrest on drugs charges.
Previous winners of the accolade include Oasis, David Bowie, Sir Paul McCartney and Sting, and it is customary for the recipient to close the star-studded ceremony with a greatest hits set.
If Simon does win, it is believed a selection of artists he has mentored during his career will perform their songs.
As well as 'X Factor' winner Leona Lewis and 'American Idol' star Kelly Clarkson, Simon - who reportedly earns $36 million per season of 'American Idol' - counts boy bands Westlife, Five and Ultimate Kaos, ex-girlfriend Sinitta and opera stars Il Divo among his top acts.
The 49-year-old music mogul has previously criticised the BRIT Awards.
In 2002, he said: "I hate the BRITs. The whole voting system is peculiar. It is the most boring night of my life. Same people, same outfits, same gossip."