The songwriters who gave us Your Song, Tiny Dancer and Rocket Man will add to their awards shelf later this year when Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin are awarded the Gershwin Prize.
The Library of Congress said on Tuesday that songwriter-performer Sir Elton and lyricist Taupin will receive the library’s Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, called by the institution “one of the great songwriting duos of all time”.
They will be given the prize at an all-star tribute concert in Washington, DC, on March 20.
“Elton John and Bernie Taupin have written some of the most memorable songs of our lives. Their careers stand out for the quality and broad appeal of their music and their influence on their fellow artists,” librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said.
Their hits include Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Bennie And The Jets and Crocodile Rock.
Sir Elton has retired from touring.
The prize, named after Jazz Age songwriters George and Ira Gershwin, is described as the American “nation’s highest award for influence, impact and achievement in popular music”.
Taupin was in many ways the Ira to Sir Elton’s George Gershwin, a lyricist who liked to tell stories with his words, whether giving “a mohair suit, electric boots” to “Bennie And The Jets” or calling Marilyn Monroe — and later Diana, Princess of Wales — A Candle In The Wind.
Sir Elton was the showman, pounding his piano and famous for impressive melodic hooks and elaborate costumes.
Past recipients include Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson, Tony Bennett, Lionel Richie, Joni Mitchell, Emilio and Gloria Estefan and Garth Brooks.
“I’ve been writing songs with Bernie for 56 years, and we never thought that that one day this might be bestowed upon us,” Sir Elton said.
“It’s an incredible honour for two British guys to be recognised like this. I’m so honoured.”
“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.
Taupin and Sir Elton were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992.
In 2023, Sir Elton inducted Taupin into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Sir Elton this month achieved EGOT status – bestrowed on someone who has won Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards – after winning an Emmy for Elton John Live: Farewell From Dodger Stadium.