His hero, John Lennon, may have once said that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus” but Noel Gallagher went one better in acknowledging the award, comparing himself to every Christian’s special friend.

“I accept that I am now a genius, just like god,” he said.

“I would like to thank NME for bestowing upon me such a great accolade. I have dreamt of this moment since I was 43 years old.

NME editor Krissi Murison was excited Gallagher had been honoured.

“For the best part of two decades, the voice of one man has dominated the pages of NME more than any other. That man is Noel Gallagher,” she said.

“Opinionated, intelligent, passionate and always hilarious – Noel walks and talks it better than any other musician out there, and it’s just one of the reasons why the British public loves him so dearly.”

Gallagher will pick up his prize at the NME Awards on February 29 at London’s O2 Academy Brixton.

He quit Oasis in 2009 after finally tiring of his brother Liam, and formed a solo project, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. 

Murison said: “That he keeps pushing boundaries as a solo artist proves that there’s a long way to go in the story of one of the most talented musicians Britain has ever produced.”