Library honoring Willie Nelson with US pop music prize

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Library of Congress will honor Willie Nelson with its Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

The library cited Nelson’s career spanning six decades in music in announcing the honor Thursday. He’ll receive the prize in November.

Nelson’s songwriting includes country-music standards including “Crazy” and “Hello Walls.” Earlier this month, Nelson’s new album with Merle Haggard, “Django and Jimmie” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard country chart.

Librarian of Congress James Billington says Nelson is a “musical explorer” who has redrawn the boundaries of country music, crossing into jazz, blues, folk, rock and Latin styles. Billington says the Texas native helped make country one of the most beloved forms of American artistic expression.

The Gershwin Prize honors a musician’s lifetime achievement. Past recipients include Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney.

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