Elton John, Bernie Taupin: Gershwin Prize Winners

Music icons honored with prestigious award for lifetime achievement

by Zain ul Abedin
Elton John, Bernie Taupin: Gershwin Prize Winners
© Shannon Finney/Getty Images

Renowned music icon Elton John and his esteemed songwriting partner Bernie Taupin were honored with the prestigious Gershwin Prize for Popular Song by The Library of Congress during a distinguished ceremony held in Washington, D.C.

The event, which took place on Wednesday, celebrated the remarkable contributions of the legendary duo to the world of music. At the heart of the tribute was a captivating concert featuring stellar performances by acclaimed artists including Maren Morris, Metallica, Annie Lennox, and Brandi Carlile.

Metallica's frontman James Hetfield expressed admiration, stating, "They’re an inspiration to us," while bandmate Kirk Hammett reminisced about the profound impact their music had on his childhood. Brandi Carlile, before delivering a soul-stirring rendition of John's "Madman Across the Water," expressed her profound gratitude, acknowledging the profound influence John and Taupin had on her musical journey.

She emphasized the pivotal role their music played in shaping her artistic identity, reflecting on her discovery of their work as a defining moment in her life. John and Taupin, whose collaborative journey spans over five decades since their initial meeting in 1967, were announced as recipients of the Gershwin Prize earlier in January.

Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, lauded their extraordinary body of work, which includes timeless classics such as "Bennie and the Jets," "Crocodile Rock," and "Tiny Dancer," among others.

Gershwin Prize Triumph

In a statement, John expressed profound gratitude for the prestigious recognition, describing it as an "incredible honor" for two British artists to be celebrated in such a manner.

He humbly acknowledged the privilege of being acknowledged alongside legendary American songwriters, underscoring the universal appeal and enduring impact of their music. The Gershwin Prize adds to a long list of accolades for John, who recently achieved EGOT status following his Emmy win for the Disney+ special "Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium." Reflecting on this milestone, John expressed deep appreciation for the recognition, attributing it to the dedication of his team and the magic of music in our lives.

John and Taupin now join the ranks of esteemed past Gershwin Prize honorees, cementing their legacy as iconic figures in the realm of popular music.