News & Politics

Elton John, Bernie Taupin to Receive Library of Congress’s Gershwin Prize

The songwriting duo join previous recipients including Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, and Carole King.

Photograph courtesy Library of Congress.

Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road—hello, Library of Congress.

Elton John and Bernie Taupin will be the 2024 recipients of the Gershwin Prize, a lifetime achievement award for contributions in popular music, the library announced Tuesday.

“I’ve been writing songs with Bernie for 56 years, and we never thought that one day this might be bestowed upon us,” John said in a statement. “It’s an incredible honor for two British guys to be recognized like this. I’m so honored.”

John and Taupin’s half-century long partnership began in 1967, when the two responded to the same newspaper advertisement requesting singers and songwriters. Over the following decades, the duo would churn out hit after hit—“Your Song,” “Bennie and the Jets,” “Daniel”—all with John writing music for Taupin’s lyrics.

“Elton John and Bernie Taupin have written some of the most memorable songs of our lives,” Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said in a statement. “Their careers stand out for the quality and broad appeal of their music and their influence on their fellow artists.”

Previous recipients of the Gershwin Prize include Joni Mitchell (last year’s winner) Carole King, Willie Nelson, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. It is the third time a duo has won the award, after Gloria and Emilio Estefan in 2019 and Burt Bacharach and Hal David in 2012.

The award marrks another accolade in the storied careers of John and Taupin. John won his first career Emmy last month, completing the EGOT sweep, for Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium, a broadcast of his swan song tour.

Yet it won’t be the last time Rocket Man takes off on stage. John will perform at an invitation-only tribute concert at DAR Constitution Hall on March 20, where he will accept the award; the concert will be broadcast on PBS on April 8, according to the Library of Congress.

“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 in a statement.

Arya Hodjat
Editorial Fellow