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Billy Joel is this year's Gershwin Prize recipient

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The Library of Congress has just selected its 2014 recipient for the prestigious Gershwin Prize for Popular Song

It was announced this morning, that the award named after composer George Gershwin, is set to be bestowed upon Billy Joel, celebrating the rock legend’s lifetime achievements, which includes hits including “Piano Man”, “Just the Way You Are” and “My Life”, as well as classic albums such as 1977’s The Stranger and 1978’s 52nd Street. The Gershwin Award is the second major Washington-based award for Joel, following becoming a Kennedy Center honoree last year.

In a statement from Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, he stated there is an intimacy to his songwriting, which bridges the gap between listeners, and the world he shares though music. Joel meanwhile stated it was an honor and a milestone to be included among the songwriters who have been past recipients. Those songwriters include Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney, songwriting duo Burt Bacharach Hal David, and Carole King (the first and so far only woman to receive the honor).

The Gershwin Prize for Popular Song celebrates the work of an artist, whose music becomes a lifetime achievement in promoting songs, which becomes vehicles of musical expression and cultural understanding. The recipient could come from any style of music including rock, jazz, pop, soul and country, and is either a singer/songwriter or interpreter. Joel will be formally awarded with a luncheon and musical performance in Washington in November.

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