The vegan singer is a committed animal rights supporter and often angers critics and opponents with his forthright comments on the issue.

However, officials at PETA, who have a long-standing relationship with the former The Smiths star, are to show their gratitude to the singer for keeping the issue in the public eye by presenting him with a prestigious honour.

The award will be handed to Morrissey at a ceremony at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles in September (15) and is one of three honours he is set to receive this year (15) for his animal rights campaigning.

In a statement, he says, "I do nothing in my life with the hope of receiving an award... My firm hope, of course, is that all people will arrive at sophisticated and compassionate enlightenment by understanding how the hidden hell of factory farming and the slaughterhouse and dairy farming is destroying the planet far more than any other known entity, and is an unimaginably evil torture for animals who ask for nothing but to be allowed a chance to live their lives."

The singer is also set to receive the Hidden Heroes Gala Award from Mercy For Animals at an event in Los Angeles next month (Aug15), and the Farm Sanctuary's Special Award at a ceremony in New York in October (15).