The Library of Congress has set Garth Brooks as a 2020 recipient of its Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, to be awarded at an all-star tribute concert in Washington D.C. in March 2020 for airing on PBS later in the spring.
The award goes to venerable enough musicians that Brooks, at 57, is said to be the youngest ever to receive the prize. Previous recipients include Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson and the songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Tony Bennett was celebrated in a 2018 Gershwin Prize PBS broadcast that went on to win an Emmy for outstanding music direction.
“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.”
The airdate for the national PBS broadcast of the March concert will be set at a later time.
New of the Gershwin Prize follows by two days the announcement that the country superstar will be the subject of a two-part, four-hour A&E Network “Biography” special, “Garth Brooks: The Road I’m On,” set to air Sept. 24-25. Brooks announced the special and showed a trailer during his weekly live Facebook series, “Inside Studio G: A Monday Night Conversation.” A&E has declared that week “Garth Week” and will also air his Yankee Stadium concert special Nov. 26.