Paul McCartney

Music Legend Paul McCartney Named Recipient of Third Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington today named music legend Paul McCartney as the recipient of the third Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. An all-star tribute concert is planned for spring 2010.

As a great admirer of the Gershwins songs, I am highly honored to be given the Gershwin Prize by such a great institution as the Library of Congress, McCartney said.

The prize commemorates George and Ira Gershwin, the legendary American songwriting team whose extensive manuscript collections reside in the Library of Congress. The prize is awarded to musicians whose lifetime contributions in the field of popular song exemplify the standard of excellence associated with the Gershwins. The Gershwin Prize is also meant to draw attention to the musical collections in the Library of Congress, especially the vast popular-music collection, and to encourage students, teachers, scholars and researchers to use this free public resource in their scholarly investigations.

The first Gershwin Prize was awarded in May 2007 to Paul Simon, and the second to Stevie Wonder in February 2009. The two concerts were broadcast nationally on PBS and featured musical performances by Tony Bennett, James Taylor, Alison Krauss, Marc Anthony, Martina McBride, Diana Krall, Will.i.am, and Art Garfunkel among others. Stevie Wonder's prize festivities also included the performance of a special commission, Sketches of a Life in the Librarys Coolidge Auditorium.

It is hard to think of another performer and composer who has had a more indelible and transformative effect on popular song and music of several different genres than Paul McCartney said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, who made the selection.

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