Willie Nelson to Be Honored With Gershwin Prize
Country legend Willie Nelson has been selected as the recipient of this year's Gershwin Prize for Popular Song by the Library of Congress, which recognizes a musician’s lifetime achievement. He is being honored for his six decades of quality songwriting and musicianship, including 25 No. 1 singles, 68 studio albums and 11 Grammy awards.
“The title track is about [jazz guitarist] Django Reinhardt and [singer/songwriter] Jimmie Rodgers. Both of those guys were very influential in both of our careers,” Nelson explained prior to its release. “It’s good music, I got a good feeling about it.”
Perhaps the artist’s most widely known works are his records Shotgun Willie and Stardust, which earned him national recognition. He’s also published a New York Times best-selling book, among several autobiographies he’s written or co-written.
"A master communicator, the sincerity and universally appealing message of his lyrics place him in a category of his own while still remaining grounded in his country-music roots,” Librarian of Congress James Billington states. "Like America itself, he has absorbed and assimilated diverse stylistic influences into his stories and songs. He has helped make country music one of the most universally beloved forms of American artistic expression."
According to the Associated Press, Nelson says it's an honor to receive the prize. "I appreciate it greatly," he adds.
The national award has been given to artists like Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel and Paul Simon. Nelson will receive the prize in November in Washington, D.C., where he will be honored with a concert.
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