WASHINGTON, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- U.S. singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder has been chosen to receive the Second Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, it was announced Tuesday.
The announcement was made by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. The award presentation is to take place in the Great Hall of the Library in Washington Feb. 23, 2009.
The Library said it has also offered, and Wonder has accepted, a musical commission. Other composers to receive Library commissions are Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein and Paquito D'Rivera. Paul Simon was the first to receive the Gershwin Prize last year.
"It's an immense privilege to join such a remarkable roster of musicians and composers," Wonder said in a statement. "I am touched to receive this honor, and look forward to creating music for the celebration."
"The Gershwin Prize was created to honor an artist whose creative output transcends distinctions between musical styles and idioms, bringing diverse listeners together, and fostering mutual understanding and appreciation," Billington said. "Stevie Wonder's music epitomizes this ideal."
The Michigan native and Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame member is best known for his songs "For Once in My Life," "My Cherie Amour," "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours," "You are the Sunshine of My Life" and "I Just Called to Say I Love You. He also wrote the Smokey Robinson hit "The Tears of a Clown."