Billy Joel To Receive Library Of Congress' Gershwin Award
July 22, 2014 at 4:36 AM (PT)
The LIBRARY OF CONGRESS will award its next GERSHWIN Prize for Popular Song to BILLY JOEL. JOEL will receive the honor at a series of events including a luncheon and musical performances in WASHINGTON in NOVEMBER. Past recipients include PAUL SIMON, STEVIE WONDER, Sir PAUL MCCARTNEY, BURT BACHARACH and HAL DAVID, and CAROLE KING.
Librarian of Congress JAMES H. BILLINGTON said, “BILLY JOEL is a storyteller of the highest order. There is an intimacy to his songwriting that bridges the gap between the listener and the worlds he shares through music. When you listen to a BILLY JOEL song, you know about the people and the place and what happened there. And while there may be pain, despair and loss, there is ultimately a resilience to it that makes you want to go to these places again and again.
“Importantly, as with any good storyteller, the recognition experienced in a BILLY JOEL song is not simply because these are songs we have heard so many times, but because we see something of ourselves in them."
JOEL said, “The great composer, GEORGE GERSHWIN, has been a personal inspiration to me throughout my career. And the Library’s decision to include me among those songwriters who have been past recipients is a milestone for me.”