Britpop band Blur will receive an Outstanding Contribution to Music award at next year's BRITs, Britain's answer to the Grammys.

The indie quartet, who released their first album Leisure in 1991 and are best known for the 1994 No. 1 album Parklife, will be honoured at the February 21 ceremony in London.

It's great to have recognition for all the work and all the heartache and all the joy that's gone into this band, Blur lead singer Damon Albarn said in a statement.

Blur, who experimented with a range of musical styles, hit the peak of their fame during the mid-1990s when the British media played up their chart rivalry with Manchester band Oasis.

When guitarist Graham Coxon left the band it went into hiatus from around 2002 to 2009, during which time Albarn pursued solo projects and enjoyed commercial success with his virtual band Gorillaz.

Blur reunited for a series of sellout concerts and festival appearances in 2009, but the music press has reported they have no plans to record new music in the foreseeable future.

Previous recipients of the special BRIT award include Paul McCartney, U2, Paul Weller, Oasis, Sting, The Who, Fleetwood Mac, Van Morrison and Queen.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White.)