Will.i.am, frontman of the Black Eyed Peas, is among the top winners being recognized for online excellence with the so-called “Oscars of the Internet.”
The Webbys, now in their 12th year, are considered the leading international awards for websites, interactive advertising and online video.
The Webby judges singled out will.i.am out for Artist of the Year in recognition of his “Yes We Can” video in support of US President Democratic hopeful Obama, viewed more than 17 million times since it came out in February.
Past winners of Webbys include YouTube co-founders Steve Chen and Chad Hurley, rock legend David Bowie and former US vice president Al Gore.
The winners are selected by the 550-member International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, whose members include “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening, columnist and writer Arianna Huffington and Hollywood titan Harvey Weinstein.
The winners are to be honored at a gala ceremony in New York on June 10.
One thing that makes the Webby gala stand out from other award ceremonies is the five-word limit on acceptance speeches — a rule that is rigorously policed by the audience for all but the special award winners.