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Carole King makes history with Gershwin Prize

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May 23, 2013 | 12:22am EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama was on hand to honour the career achievements of Carole King at the White House on Wednesday (22May13) when she became the first ever woman to receive the prestigious Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The You've Got a Friend hitmaker made history by collecting the Library of Congress award, in recognition of her five decades in music, before a star-studded crowd in Washington, D.C. President Obama referenced the Oklahoma tornado tragedy, which left 24 people dead on Monday (20May13), but insisted the power of song helps lift the spirits of those in need. He said, "Eventually, life will go on and new memories will be made. New laughter will come. New songs will be sung. And that's often why we turn to music during trying times, for comfort and for inspiration, and sometimes just for a good diversion." After being presented with the award, King added, "I'm honoured to be recognised by the Library of Congress as the fifth recipient and first woman as has been stated. I can't say it enough. I am so excited." Stars including Gloria Estefan, Billy Joel, Jesse McCartney, Emeli Sande, and James Taylor all performed in King's honour. She follows in the footsteps of previous recipients Sir Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon.

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