Home Editor Picks Elton John, Bernie Taupin to receive Gershwin prize for pop music | CBC News

Elton John, Bernie Taupin to receive Gershwin prize for pop music | CBC News

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Elton John, Bernie Taupin to receive Gershwin prize for pop music | CBC News

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The songwriters who gave us Your SongTiny Dancer and Rocket Man will add to their stuffed awards shelf later this year when Elton John and Bernie Taupin are awarded the Gershwin Prize.

The United States Library of Congress said Tuesday that songwriter-performer John and lyricist Taupin, called by the institution “one of the great songwriting duos of all time,” will receive the library’s Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

They will be bestowed the prize at an all-star tribute concert in Washington, D.C., on March 20. PBS will air portions of it on April 8.

“Elton John and Bernie Taupin have written some of the most memorable songs of our lives. Their careers stand out for the quality and broad appeal of their music and their influence on their fellow artists,” Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said in a statement.

Their hits include Your SongTiny DancerRocket Man, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on MeGoodbye Yellow Brick Road, Bennie and The Jets and Crocodile Rock. John has retired from touring.

Three young men and an older man pose in an office, holding framed records. The photo is in black and white.
Bernie Taupin, second from left, and Elton John, second from right, pose with framed records in October 1972. The two have worked together for nearly six decades. (Jack Kay/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder among past winners

The prize, named after Jazz Age songwriters George and Ira Gershwin, is described as the “nation’s highest award for influence, impact and achievement in popular music.”

Taupin was in many ways the Ira to John’s George Gershwin, a lyricist who liked to tell stories with his words, whether giving “a mohair suit, electric boots” to Bennie and the Jets or calling Marilyn Monroe — and later Princess Diana — A Candle in the Wind. John was the showman, pounding his piano and famous for impressive melodic hooks and elaborate costumes.

Past recipients include Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson, Tony Bennett, Lionel Richie, Joni Mitchell, Emilio and Gloria Estefan and Garth Brooks.

“I’ve been writing songs with Bernie for 56 years, and we never thought that that one day this might be bestowed upon us,” John said in a statement. “It’s an incredible honour for two British guys to be recognized like this. I’m so honoured.”

“To be in a house along with the great American songwriters, to even be in the same avenue is humbling, and I am absolutely thrilled to accept,” Taupin said in a statement.

Taupin and John were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992. In 2023, John inducted Taupin into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. John this month achieved EGOT status after winning an Emmy for Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium.

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