Very few guitarists have accomplished as much as Black Sabbath's figurehead Tony Iommi. After famously down-tuning his guitar to accommodate the caps placed over his freshly sliced off fingertips, he spawned heavy metal and is the undisputed master of the riff. He has forever changed the way musicians approach the guitar and the National Guitar Museum is recognizing his efforts with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Iommi will be just the sixth recipient of the honor, joining guitar greats Honeyboy Edwards, Roger McGuinn, B.B. King, Vic Flick and Buddy Guy. "I'm very honored by this award from the National Guitar Museum," stated Iommi. "The guitar has been an important part of my life for most of my life, and I'm happy to have contributed to its legacy. Not only that, but I have just the place for this award in my new studio!"

The museum's executive director HP Newquist commented on the honor, "This year, the choice for us was obvious. With Tony embarking on a final tour, his recorded work now marking nearly 50 years, and the charitable work he's been involved in, this was the time to ensure that his work was recognized. Tony's guitar playing has inspired countless numbers of guitarists to follow in his wake, and few guitarists can match his lifetime of achievements."

The award is not handed out liberally and the organization states, "Recipients are recognized for a lifetime of contributing to the legacy of the guitar and having a singular importance to the development and historical appreciation of the instrument." A signature left-handed SG model from Epiphone will find a permanent home inside the National Guitar Museum as part of their expansive collection. 

Black Sabbath recently kicked off 'The End' world tour, which will mark the final time heavy metal's godfathers will hit the road, delivering a set of classic metal hymns that have stood the test of time and will continue to do so long after the band bows out. For a list of North American tour dates, visit out 2016 Guide to Rock + Metal Tours.

See Where Tony Iommi Ranks Among the Top 50 Hard Rock + Metal Guitarists of All Time

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