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Parton tabbed for Mercer award

NEW YORK, April 3 (UPI) -- Country singer Dolly Parton on Tuesday was selected the 2007 recipient of the Johnny Mercer Award for her career-long body of songwriting work.

Parton will be honored at the annual Songwriters Hall of Fame awards dinner June 7 in New York, hall officials announced in a news release. Parton is already a member of the hall of fame but the Mercer Award takes her stature up another notch, recognizing the high quality and impact of her songs and putting her in the pantheon of tunesmiths such as Kris Kristofferson, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Carole King and Billy Joel.

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Among her many hits are "I Will Always Love You," "Here You Come Again" and "9 to 5."

"Dolly Parton exemplifies the term 'songwriter's songwriter,'" hall officials said in their announcement. "She is greatly respected and admired by her peers and fans alike, both for her talent and her famously witty personality. Her songs have a straight-from -the-heart appeal combined with homespun poetry."

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Other songwriters selected to be inducted into the hall this year are: Don Black, Jackson Browne, Irving Burgie, Michael Masser, Bobby Weinstein and Teddy Randazzo.

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