Stevie Wonder Tapped For Gershwin Prize

(PR) The U.S. president will give the Second Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song to Stevie Wonder on Feb. 25 at a special concert in the East Room of the White House in celebration of African American History Month.

The program, to be taped by WETA Washington, D.C., as part of the In Performance at the White House series, will air on PBS stations nationwide on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009, at 8 p.m. ET (check local listings) as "Stevie Wonder In Performance at the White House: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize."

The concert will feature a tribute by top performers singing the songs that propelled Wonder to the ranks of international stardom. The full line-up of performers will be announced soon.

The Gershwin Prize for Popular Song was created by the Library of Congress to honor artists whose creative output transcends distinctions between musical styles and idioms, bringing diverse listeners together, and fostering mutual understanding and appreciation.
"Stevie Wonder is the epitome of what the Gershwin Prize stands for," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, who selected Stevie Wonder for the honor in September 2008. "He has crossed musical and cultural boundaries and has made contributions to humanity far beyond the realm of entertainment."

The prize commemorates George and Ira Gershwin, the legendary American songwriting team whose extensive manuscript collections reside in the Library of Congress. The prize is awarded to musicians whose lifetime contributions in the field of popular song exemplify the standard of excellence associated with the Gershwins. Paul Simon in 2007 received the first Gershwin Prize.

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