WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Stevie Wonder, touted by U.S. President Obama as the singer-songwriter who made the "soundtrack of my youth," was given the Gershwin Award at the White House.
Obama, who presented Wonder the Library of Congress's second annual award for lifetime achievement Wednesday night, even credited the 22-time Grammy award-winning recording artist with facilitating his romance with first lady Michelle Obama.
"I think it's fair to say that had I not been a Stevie Wonder fan, Michelle might not have dated me. We might not have married," the president said. "The fact that we agreed on Stevie was part of the essence of our courtship."
The first lady, who said she grew up listening to Wonder's music with her grandfather, seconded that emotion and drew "awhs" from the crowd when she pointed out his "You and I" was their wedding song.
She also lauded the staying power of Wonder's songs, noting that 40 years later groups such as the Jonas Brothers cover them, "thrilling a new generation of young girls, including our own."
Wonder, 58, was serenaded by a clutch of artists who played some of his catalogue of hits. Wonder sang "Signed Sealed Delivered."
Wonder drew laughs when he joked he was "so excited to know that I was a part of" their romance. "I needn't say more," he said, though later he joked again that "You know, maybe I'll be a part of creating some more of those babies," triggering a roar of laughter and applause from the audience
Wonder accepted the award for his mother, saying if she were there "She'd say, 'Let me give him a peach cobbler.'"