Willie Nelson, legendary BMI Icon and writer of Patsy Cline’s unforgettable signature hit, “Crazy,” among many other incomparable works, was the 2015 recipient of the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in Washington, D.C. last night. Nelson, who’s 60-year career includes seven GRAMMY Awards as well as the GRAMMY Living Legend Award, induction into both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, was celebrated with a star-studded tribute by Edie Brickell, Leon Bridges, Rosanne Cash, Ana Gabriel, Jamey Johnson, Alison Krauss, Cyndi Lauper, Raul Malo of The Mavericks, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Paul Simon, Neil Young and Buckwheat Zydeco. Nelson himself also performed. He is the first country songwriter to receive this prestigious honor, which recognizes “living musical artists whose lifetime contributions in the field of popular song exemplify the standard of excellence associated with George and Ira Gershwin, by promoting the genre of song as a vehicle of cultural understanding; entertaining and informing audiences; and inspiring new generations.”
The concert will air on PBS stations nationwide at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. For more information about the Gershwin Prize, visit the Library of Congress website. Congratulations, Willie!