Elton John, Bernie Taupin Win 'Incredible Honor'

They're the third duo to win Gershwin Prize
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2024 3:51 PM CST
Elton John, Bernie Taupin Win Gershwin Prize
Elton John appears with his lyricist Bernie Taupin in London on March 5, 1973.   (AP Photo/John Glanvill, File)

The Library of Congress says its Gershwin Prize for Popular Song this year is going to "one of the greatest songwriting duos of all time"—Elton John and Bernie Taupin, who have been writing hits for more than half a century. They will be honored at an April 8 tribute concert in Washington, DC that will air on PBS at 8pm Eastern. "Their process seems simple: Taupin writes lyrics and sends them to John, who goes to work at the piano and creates a song," the Library of Congress said in its announcement Tuesday. "It's an incredible honor for two British guys to be recognized like this," John said in a statement. "I'm so honored."

"To be in a house along with the great American songwriters, to even be in the same avenue is humbling, and I am absolutely thrilled to accept," Taupin said. John recently became one of the few people to achieve the status of EGOT winner, with Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards. NPR suggests that with the addition of the prestigious Gershwin Prize, his title could be "EGGOT." This will be the 14th time the prize, named after songwriting legends George and Ira Gershwin, has been awarded since it was created in 2007, and the third time it has gone to a duo. the Washington Post reports.

Dr. Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, tells NPR that the duo are the "epitome of what George and Ira Gershwin stand for: legendary songwriting teams that have really resonated with generations of music lovers." John and Taupin met in 1967 when they answered the same newspaper ad from Liberty Records seeking songwriters. Since then, they have produced more than 30 albums. The Post reports that when John was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, he handed Taupin the statuette, saying "without Bernie, there wouldn't have been any Elton John at all." John delivered the speech and played "Tiny Dancer" when Taupin was inducted in November. (More Elton John stories.)

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