Library of Congress / Gershwin Prize for Popular Song: Billy Joel
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Library of Congress presented the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song to Billy Joel, in recognition of his profound and lasting impact on popular music and culture. One of the world's most prolific and well-respected entertainers, Joel's rich catalog of music has touched the lives of millions of people. Past recipients of the Gershwin Prize include Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and Carole King.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor presented the award alongside Senator Patrick Leahy, Representatives Candice Miller, Nancy Pelosi, and Gregg Harper, and Librarian of Congress Emeritus Dr. James H. Billington. The special featured an appearance by Kevin Spacey, and performances by Tony Bennett, Boyz II Men, Gavin DeGraw, Josh Groban, Natalie Maines, John Mellencamp, and LeAnn Rimes.
The Gershwin Prize honors life and 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 special is broadcast each year on PBS.