Gershwin Prize for Popular Song


Washington, D.C.


Library of Congress


Established by the Library of Congress, the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song seeks to honor the legacy of brothers—and legendary songwriting team—George and Ira Gershwin, by celebrating the work of artists whose careers reflect a lifetime of achievement in promoting popular song as a vehicle of musical expression and cultural understanding.

The annual concert special features artists from a wide variety of musical genres paying tribute to the lasting legacy of the honoree’s songbook. Hosted by Samuel L. Jackson, the 2016 Gershwin Prize was presented to Smokey Robinson in D.C.'s historic DAR Constitution Hall. The tribute featured performances by Esperanza Spalding, CeeLo Green, Aloe Blacc, BeBe Winans, Gallant, JoJo, Corinne Bailey Rae, Kip Moore, Ledisi, Tegan Marie, The Tenors, and more.

Past honorees include Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Carole King, and Billy Joel. The special is broadcast each year on PBS


Gershwin Prize Tribute to Smokey Robinson

Featuring Performances By

Esperanza Spalding

CeeLo Green

Aloe Blacc

BeBe Winans




The Tenors

Tegan Marie

Kip Moore

Berry Gordy

Samuel L. Jackson



Past Honorees

Willie Nelson

Featuring Performances By

Cyndi Lauper

Rosanne Cash

Edie Brickell

Paul Simon

Buckwheat Zydeco

Raul Malo

Alison Krauss

Jamey Johnson

Ana Gabriel

Neil Young & Promise of the Real

Lukas Nelson

Leon Bridges

Don Johnson

Billy Joel

Featuring Performances By

Boyz II Men

Natalie Maines

Tony Bennett

LeAnn Rimes

Josh Groban

John Mellencamp

Gavin DeGraw

Kevin Spacey