Entertainment & Arts

Billy Joel to receive Gershwin Prize for Popular Song

Billy Joel Image copyright AP
Image caption Billy Joel has sold more than 150 million records worldwide and is one of the best-selling music artists of all time

Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Billy Joel is to receive the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

The 65-year-old, who is best known for penning the tunes Uptown Girl, Piano Man and New York State of Mind, is the sixth recipient of the prize.

Awarded by the US Library of Congress, it honours individuals for their lifetime achievement in popular music.

Joel was praised for being "a storyteller of the highest order".

"There is an intimacy to his songwriting that bridges the gap between the listener and the worlds he shares through music," Librarian of Congress James H Billington said.

Previous recipients of the award, named after songwriting brothers George and Ira Gershwin, are Carole King, Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach and Hal David; and Paul Simon.

Joel has won multiple Grammys over his 50-year career including song of the year for Just the Way You Are and album of the year for The Stranger in 1978.

He was also presented with a Grammy Legend Award in 1990 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.

"The great composer, George Gershwin, has been a personal inspiration to me throughout my career," the musician said.

"The Library's decision to include me among those songwriters who have been past recipients is a milestone for me."

He will receive the prize in Washington DC in November and be honoured in a series of events.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites