Tom Petty (search) will receive the Century Award (search), Billboard's highest honor for creative achievement, at this year's Billboard Music Awards (search).

The show will air live on the FOX network from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Dec. 6.

"This award comes at a particularly nice time as the Heartbreakers and I go into the 30th year of our career," the 54-year-old rocker said in a statement Thursday. "I'm very honored that Billboard has acknowledged me."

Petty's hits include "Free Fallin'," "Don't Do Me Like That" and "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," a Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' duet with Stevie Nicks.

Previous award recipients include George Harrison, Buddy Guy, Billy Joel, Joni Mitchell, Carlos Santana, Chet Atkins, James Taylor, Emmylou Harris, Randy Newman, John Mellencamp, Annie Lennox, Sting and Stevie Wonder.

Petty introduced Harrison, the first Century Award honoree, at the 1992 Billboard Music Awards.