LifestyleElton John and Bernie Taupin receive 2024 Gershwin Prize

Elton John and Bernie Taupin receive 2024 Gershwin Prize

Global musical talent gathered recently to honor Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin, one of the longest and most successful entertainment partnerships.

Lyricist Taupin and music composer John received the 2024 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song before a packed house at the D.A.R. Constitution Hall. 

The host for the evening was entertainer Billy Porter, who walked through the audience introducing each segment of a tribute concert showcasing the memorable songs of the honored duo. John and Taupin showed their excitement for the various arrangements of their hits as performed by Brandi Carlile, Annie Lennox, Metallica, Maren Morris, Charlie Puth, Jacob Lusk of Gabriels, and Joni Mitchell and Garth Brooks, previous Gershwin Prize honorees.

PBS stations nationwide will premiere the concert at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, April 8. 

How the John and Taupin Partnership Began

“More than 50 years ago, they came from across the pond to win over Americans and audiences worldwide with their beautiful songs and rock anthems,” said Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden.   “We’re proud to honor Elton and Bernie with the Gershwin Prize for their incredible impact on generations of music lovers.”

John and Taupin’s collaboration has resulted in over 35 gold and 25 platinum albums. The Librarian of Congress selects honorees in consultation with a board of scholars, producers, performers, songwriters, and music specialists.

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

The collaborators met in 1967. John, a young piano player, met lyricist Taupin-, and their skills combined perfectly from the beginning. Taupin would write a lyric, and John could put it to melody in about an hour. 

Taupin, who is also a visual artist and author, lives a quiet life in California with his family. He moved to the U.S. in 1970 and is an American citizen. 

John, the ultimate showman, recently ended a multi-year farewell tour. He and his husband, David Furnish, have two boys.

Grateful Appreciation for America

Both John and Taupin agree about the impact of American music on their careers. 

John was influenced by Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Elvis Presley. Taupin greatly admired record producer, bassist, and songwriter Willie Dixon, known for his Chicago style of blues music. 

When accepting their award from Hayden, John was straightforward with his sentiments.

“When I grew up as a little boy in suburban London, the only good music I heard was American. British music sucked,” said John, getting a laugh from the audience.

“Everything I’ve written emanates from the American songbook,” Taupin explained. Elton responded, “But he drives a Volvo.”

That light joking between the two displayed the upbeat nature of their professional and personal relationship over 56 years.

“Your Song,” “Tiny Dancer,” “Rocket Man,” “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” and “Bennie and The Jets” are just a few of the John and Taupin songs that became timeless standards. “Crocodile Rock” became their first No. 1 single in the U.S. in 1973. These songs and others will be performed on April 8 during the PBS broadcast of the concert “Elton John & Bernie Taupin: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.”

Learn more on the Library of Congress website at loc.gov.

Source: Washington Informer

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