Garth Brooks is joining an esteemed class of songwriters; the country singer has been revealed as the next recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
Brooks, 57, is the youngest recipient of the prestigious honor, and the second honoree from the world of country music. Willie Nelson was the 2015 recipient.
“Garth Brooks’ appeal as a performer, songwriter and humanitarian has brought many new fans into the world of country music,” said librarian of congress Carla Hayden. “During his career, Brooks has set countless records, earned numerous awards and elevated country music into a national anthem of the American people.”
The singer joins previous honorees 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. The award is bestowed in recognition of the esteemed songwriting team of George and Ira Gershwin and honors a living artist’s lifetime achievement in promoting the genre of a song.
“An award is only as good as the names on it,” Brooks said in a statement. “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 will accept his prize in Washington, D.C., in March 2020 as part of an all-star tribute concert to air on PBS.