Sir Paul McCartney has been named as the third recipient of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
The award was made by the US Library of Congress, and will be accepted by McCartney at a ceremony in Washington in spring 2010. The library has promised an all-star tribute concert at a location to be revealed.
McCartney was selected by librarian of congress James H Billington, along with advisory committee members including Carol Bayer Sager, Paul Simon, Jimmy Webb and Paul Williams.
It’s 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.
The Gershwin Prize will honour McCartney for a lifetime of work that spans from his time with the Beatles to Wings to his solo work today. The prize commemorates George and Ira Gershwin, whose manuscripts are held at the library, and is awarded to musicians “whose lifetime contributions in the field of popular song exemplify the standard of excellence associated with the Gershwins”.
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 will be the third songwriter to receive the award. Paul Simon received the inaugural prize in May 2007, followed by Stevie Wonder in February 2008.
Both musicians donated works to the library. Simon gave the original manuscript of the lyrics to the song Graceland, and Wonder was commissioned to write a piece of music, Sketches Of A Life. McCartney is expected to make a contribution, although the precise nature has not been confirmed.