Piano man Billy Joel handed pop prize honour

The Library of Congress is honouring Billy Joel with its Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

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Librarian James Billington said that the singer-songwriter, whose hits include Piano Man and Uptown Girl, will receive the prize in Washington in November.

The Gershwin Prize honours a living artist's lifetime achievement in music. Previous recipients include Paul Simon; Stevie Wonder; Sir Paul McCartney; the songwriting duo of Burt Bacharach and the late Hal David; and Carole King.

Joel is among the world's most popular recording artists. He has said his piano-driven compositions spring from personal experiences, and that he strives to write songs that capture and transcend those moments.

With a career spanning 50 years in the entertainment industry, Joel is the sixth top-selling artist of all time.

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