The award was announced by the US Library of Congress in November 2009. Previous recipients have been Paul Simon, who received the inaugural prize in May 2007, and Stevie Wonder in February 2008.
A concert will be held in McCartney's honour in the East Room of the White House on 2 June, and will be broadcast on PBS stations on 28 July 2010 at 8pm EDT, as In Performance at the White House Celebrating the Music of Paul McCartney: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize.
Special guests appearing at the event will include Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello, the Jonas Brothers, Herbie Hancock, Corinne Bailey Rae, Dave Grohl, Faith Hill, Emmylou Harris, Jack White and Jerry Seinfeld.
The Gershwin Prize commemorates George and Ira Gershwin and is awarded to musicians whose lifetime contributions exemplify the standard of excellence associated with the Gershwins.