The Paper Planes rapper is the only artist ever to be nominated for a Mercury Award, Academy Award, Grammy Award, Brit Award and Alternative Turner Prize.
She said: "For me this Meltdown will be about putting on a musical week that shows different types of music which have inspired each other to exist.
"Genres that support other genres, redefining the concept of a melting pot. Respect the history, don't live in it. I plan to bring together music's best forward thinkers who have contributed to all our lives. When music acts as inspiration, it's boundaryless."Jude Kelly, Artistic Director at Southbank Centre, said: "It's not often that we encounter such an unbridled creative force, excelling in whichever field they try their hand. M.I.A. has not just broken barriers as a musician, creating music that is embraced the world over, but she has made art her rallying cry – and has stayed true to her conviction, as an artist, woman and citizen of the world."
This year marks the 24th Meltdown, which was launched in 1993. M.I.A, sometimes known as Mathangi 'Maya' Arulpragasam, will be following in the footsteps of David Bowie, Patti Smith, Yoko Ono, David Byrne, The Kinks' Ray Davies, Elvis Costello and jazz giant Ornette Coleman, who have all previously looked after the festival.