Paul Simon will receive the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from the Library of Congress. Named in honor of the songwriters George and Ira Gershwin, the new prize will be given annually to “a composer or performer whose lifetime contributions exemplify the standard of excellence associated with the Gershwins.”
In the words of the Librarian of Congress, James Billington: “Few songwriters have had a broader influence or contributed more to song genres than Paul Simon. Because of the depth, range and sheer beauty of his music, as well as its ability to bridge people and cultures, he is the perfect first recipient of this prestigious award.”
Simon’s honor will be commemorated with an all-star concert on Wednesday, May 23 at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. It will be broadcast on Public Television on June 27.
In addition, Paul Simon’s 1986 album Graceland was included in the new 2006 list of 25 inductions to the Library of Congress Recordings Registry. The Registry annually selects a group of sound recordings that are “historically, culturally or aesthetically significant.”