Perspectives

Garth Brooks Celebrated with Gershwin Prize; Sunday, March 29 at 9 pm


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GARTH BROOKS CELEBRATED IN

THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS GERSHWIN PRIZE FOR POPULAR SONG

AIRING NATIONALLY ON PBS

 

This March, The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song salutes country music icon Garth Brooks. The titan of country music is the youngest recipient of this prestigious prize. The program premieres Sunday, March 29 at 9 p.m. on PBS stations nationwide, and on PBS.org and the PBS Video App.  The special, recorded at Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Constitution Hall on March 4, features an all-star tribute to Brooks from family, friends and admirers.

Gershwin MedalThe concert lineup includes Trisha Yearwood, Keith Urban, Ricky Skaggs, Chris Stapleton, Keb’ Mo’, Lee Brice, the Howard University Choir, host Jay Leno and a special performance by honoree Garth Brooks.

Commenting on the Gershwin Prize Brooks said, “An award is only as good as the names on it. First off, for any musician, the name Gershwin says it all. Add to Ira’s and George’s names the names of the past recipients, and you have an award of the highest honor. I am truly humbled.”

Brooks is one of the major changemakers in the history of country music. His music weaves the beauty of poetry, the universality of the human experience and the inclusiveness of other musical genres, making him one of the most influential performers in country music today. He has combined the sound of traditional country music with the performance style of arena rock legends of the 1970s, creating a unique artistic vision. Brooks’ first number one single, “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” set the stage for him as a songwriter and showed his knack for expressing very personal feelings that touch on universal truths. The songs that he has written, as well as those he has chosen to record, have often moved beyond the traditional subject matter for country music, such as “We Shall Be Free,” which won a GLADD Media Award in 1993 for addressing homophobia, homelessness and racism. He has built a loyal fan base, not only through his music, but also his charity work, including his foundation, “Teammates for Kids.” He received the inaugural George H. W. Bush Points of Light Award for Caring and Compassion to celebrate his humanitarian efforts.

Bestowed in recognition of the legendary songwriting team of George and Ira Gershwin, the Gershwin Prize recognizes a living musical artist’s lifetime achievement in promoting the genre of song as a vehicle of entertainment, information, inspiration and cultural understanding. Previous recipients are Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney, songwriting duo Burt Bacharach and the late Hal David, Carole King, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson, Tony Bennett and Emilio and Gloria Estefan.

Garth BrooksGarth Brooks: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song is a co-production of WETA Washington, D.C.; Bounce, a division of Concord Music Group; and the Library of Congress. Major funding for the broadcast is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS and public television viewers. Additional funding is provided by The Ira and Leonore Gershwin Fund and The Leonore S. Gershwin Trust for the benefit of the Library of Congress Trust Fund Board, Michael Strunsky, Trustee; AARP, Buffy Cafritz and Marjorie Fisher Furman. Air transportation is provided by United Airlines.

For more information about The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, visit www.pbs.org/Gershwin-Prize. To follow The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song on Twitter, use the hashtag #PBSGershwin. More information on the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song can also be found at www.loc.gov/about/awards-and-honors/gershwin-prize/.