McCartney to receive Gershwin Prize

Nov. 15, 2009 at 11:19 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Paul McCartney has been chosen to receive the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, a U.S. Library of Congress official confirmed Sunday.

The formal announcement is to be made Monday, The Washington Post reported. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said in a statement Sunday McCartney will become the third songwriter to receive the award, following in the footsteps of Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder.

"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," Billington said.

Billington selected McCartney for the honor, named for the American composers George and Ira Gershwin. The Library of Congress maintains the manuscripts of 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 said in a statement.

A founding member of the Beatles who also fronted Wings and continues to record and perform as a solo act, McCartney is scheduled to receive the Gershwin Prize at a ceremony next spring featuring an all-star lineup of musical acts but the Post said no venue has been selected.

McCartney, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1997, has won 13 Grammy Awards with the Beatles and during his post-Beatles career. With the Beatles, he won an Oscar for best song for "Let It Be" in 1970 and he was nominated individually for best song for "Live and Let Die" and "Vanilla Sky."

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