The songwriters who gave us Your song, Little dancer And The rocket man will be added to their stacked awards shelf later this year when Elton John and Bernie Taupin receive the Gershwin Prize.
The United States Library of Congress announced Tuesday that singer-songwriter John and lyricist Taupin, called by the institution “one of the greatest songwriting duos of all time,” will receive the Library’s Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
The award will be presented at a star-studded tribute concert in Washington, DC, on March 20. PBS will broadcast excerpts on April 8.
“Elton John and Bernie Taupin wrote some of the most memorable songs of our lives. Their careers are distinguished by the quality and broad appeal of their music and by their influence on their fellow artists,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden in a press release.
Their successes include Your song, Little dancer, The rocket man, Don’t let the sun go down on me, Goodbye yellow brick road, Bennie and the Jets And Crocodile Rock. John retired from touring.
Joni Mitchell and Stevie Wonder among past winners
The award, named after Jazz Age songwriters George and Ira Gershwin, is described as “the highest national honor for influence, impact and achievement in popular music.”
Taupin was in many ways the Ira to John’s George Gershwin, a lyricist who loved to tell stories with his words, whether giving “a mohair suit, electric boots” to Bennie and the Jets or call Marilyn Monroe – and later Princess Diana – A candle in the wind. John was the showman, hammering his piano and famous for his 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 one day this could be ours,” John said in a statement. “It’s an incredible honor for two Brits to be recognized like this. I’m so honoured.”
“Being in a house alongside America’s great songwriters, even on the same avenue, is humbling, and one I’m 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 made this month EGOT status after winning an Emmy For Elton John Live: Farewell to Dodger Stadium.