Lyricist Don Black has been announced as the recipient of the special award at this year’s Oliviers.
The award is given each year to recognise an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to theatre over the course of their career, with past recipients including Matthew Bourne, Stephen Sondheim, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Ian McKellen.
In a career spanning six decades, Black has written lyrics for theatre productions including Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love and Whistle Down the Wind, and for music artists including Quincy Jones, Lulu, Meat Loaf and Michel Legrand.
His collaboration with writer Christopher Hampton on Sunset Boulevard won them a Tony award in 1995.
Kenny Wax, president of the Society of London Theatre, said: “SOLT is delighted to honour Don Black with the special award, marking an extraordinary career encompassing many genres, but particularly musical theatre.
“Lyricists often do not receive the recognition they deserve, despite their words being known and loved by audiences worldwide – and having personally known Don for over 25 years, it makes it a particular pleasure to celebrate his impact on the face of theatre.”
The Olivier Awards 2020 will take place at the Royal Albert Hall in London on April 5.