Library honors Carole King with US pop music prize
Singer-songwriter Carole King, performs during an event to honor her with the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, at the Library of Congress, Tuesday, May 21, 2013 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Carole King isn't done with music — not yet anyway.
The 71-year-old singer-songwriter known for such hits as "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and "You've Got A Friend" was awarded the nation's highest prize for popular music in a concert Tuesday. She received the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song at the Library of Congress and will be honored Wednesday by President Barack Obama at the White House
King told The Associated Press it's a tremendous honor to be recognized at such an historic place with a place in history that she never would have expected. King is the first woman to receive the Gershwin Prize. Previous honorees include Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon.
"It is yet another of the many important messages to young women that women matter, women make a difference," King said. "That popular music is recognized by the Library of Congress as being worthy of a place in history is especially significant to me."
Singer-songwriter Carole King, pauses while speaking during an event to honor her with the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, at the Library of Congress, Tuesday, May 21, 2013 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
A concert in King's honor Wednesday at the White House will include performances by Gloria Estefan, Billy Joel, Jesse McCartney, Emeli Sande, James Taylor and Trisha Yearwood. It will be broadcast May 28 on PBS.
Last year, King hinted that she would like to retire from music as her memoir, "A Natural Woman," began to sell. But since then, she's gone on tour in Australia and plans to sing at a benefit concert to support victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Now she plans to introduce a new song during the Gershwin Prize concert that she wrote with Hal David, entitled "I Believe in Loving You." She told the AP she plans to release it as a single next month as a tribute to David, who won the prize and died last year.
"I'm hoping that this will become a song that people will want to play at their weddings," she said. "It's so romantic. Hal is such a great writer, and his words live on forever."
King said she's staying too busy to retire.
This month she received an honorary doctorate from the Berklee College of Music along with Willie Nelson and Annie Lennox. There's even a Broadway musical in the works based on King's life.