Stevie Wonder felt on the top of the world on Tuesday, when he was named as the recipient of the U.S. Library of Congress's Gershwin Prize for Popular Song for his immense contribution to music/singing.
James Billington, the Librarian of Congress, who announced the prize Tuesday, stated that the prize is awarded to an artist whose work transcends musical styles to bring diverse listeners together and foster mutual understanding. It’s an acknowledgement for a musician's lifetime of work.
Singing for nearly five decades about love, joy and injustices in the world, 58-year-old Wonder will accept the prize in Washington, DC, on February 23, 2009. Wonder will be the second recipient of the Gershwin Prize; the first was awarded in 2007 to Paul Simon.
In a statement, Wonder said, "It's an immense privilege to join such a remarkable roster of musicians and composers. I am touched to receive this honor, and look forward to creating music for the celebration."
Wonder also agreed to write a piece of music for the Library, joining a group of composers receiving commissions that range from Leonard Bernstein to Paquito D'Rivera.