Paul McCartney: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song In Performance at the White House” is a PBS music special in the White House East Room. President and Mrs. Obama will host the concert event in honor of musician Sir Paul McCartney’s receipt of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The evening will include performances by McCartney himself and Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello, Jonas Brothers, Herbie Hancock, Corinne Bailey Rae, Dave Grohl, Faith Hill, Emmylou Harris, Lang Lang and Jack White, with remarks by Jerry Seinfeld. President Obama will present the Gershwin Prize to McCartney during the event.
“‘Paul McCartney: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song In Performance at the White House’ will provide PBS viewers a very special evening with a true living legend of music. This performance special reflects PBS’s longstanding commitment to ensure all Americans have access to the arts and culture,” said PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger.
“Since the inception of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, PBS has brought this celebration of creativity directly and more broadly to the American people,” commented Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. “The Library of Congress selected a true icon for this honor in Sir Paul McCartney. We’re pleased that people everywhere will be able to join in the acclaim.”
“CPB is proud to support this program, and the ‘In Performance at the White House’ series, which celebrates our cultural heritage and music history,” said Pat Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). “CPB, in support of public service media, is committed to the development of programs that inspire, educate, inform and entertain. The ‘In Performance at the White House’ series is a powerful example of how CPB furthers this commitment.”
Since writing his first song at the age of 14, Liverpool native Paul McCartney has dreamed and dared to be different. In the 1960s, as the writer and co-author of The Beatles’ greatest songs, he changed the world of music. Legendary albums include Please Please Me, Revolver, Help!, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and The White Album. McCartney has continued to push boundaries of music over the last 30 years, first as a solo artist, then with the band Wings, and following that as a solo artist again, with recent highlights including 2007’s Memory Almost Full. Most recently he received critical acclaim as “The Fireman,” a collaborative project between McCartney and revered ambient producer Youth, with their 2008 Electric Arguments album, and for his 2009 multi-disc CD/DVD Good Evening New York City.
Equally renowned as a live performer as he is a songwriter, McCartney is also an accomplished, award-winning classical composer. He has spent much of the last five years performing sold-out concerts to millions of people all over the world. His 2009 line-up included The GRAMMY Awards; David Lynch Foundation’s benefit concert; headlining the Coachella Festival; the opening of The New Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas; his first concert in Halifax, Nova Scotia; and a five-week tour of the United States, including the inaugural run of shows at New York’s Citi Field Stadium, which was the site of the former Shea Stadium where The Beatles made history in 1965, playing a concert that set the precedent for the modern-day stadium rock show.
Among the many recognitions he has received, McCartney was awarded a special Outstanding Contribution Award at the 2008 BRIT Awards at Earls Court in London and presented from Yale University with an honorary doctorate of music. McCartney is a freeman of The City of Liverpool and Lead Patron of The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, and he was also appointed Fellow of The Royal College of Music in 1995 by The Prince of Wales. In 1996, McCartney was knighted by H.M. the Queen of England for his services to music.