Established in 2007 by the United States Library of Congress, the Library of Congress Gershwin Award for Popular Song recognizes and honors recipients, who fall into the category of composer or performer, for their lifetime of contribution to popular music.
According to the Library of Congress, the award is bestowed upon “living musical artists whose lifetime contributions in the field of popular song exemplify the standard of excellence associated with George and Ira Gershwin.”
Past recipients of the award have included a curated list of incredible musical talents such as Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Tony Bennett, and more.
And, based on a recent announcement, another pair of inspiring musicians will soon be added to that impressive list of talent – Emilio Estefan, 65, and Gloria Estefan, 61.
In accepting this award, the Estefan’s will not only be recognized for their immense contribution to musical culture, but they will make history as the first-ever recipients to receive the award who are both a couple and of Hispanic descent.
With hit songs like “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You,” “Conga,” “Get On Your Feet” and “Turn the Beat Around,” the Estefan’s have undeniably made a huge impact on music and musical culture throughout the 1980s and beyond.
The Library of Congress tweeted their announcement about the upcoming award recipients, sharing a beautiful photo of the couple.
— Library of Congress (@librarycongress) September 24, 2018
Following the announcement, a flurry of comments and statements were released by the Library of Congress highlighting the incredible talents and widespread contributions of the husband-wife musical team and sharing their reasons for choosing the Estefans.
Carla Hayden of the Librarian of Congress had nothing but glowing things to say about the new recipients of the award, “The Estefans symbolize the rich cultural diversity of the American musical experience. They are musical auteurs, creating a unique sound of Latin rhythms that transcends cultural boundaries, parlaying their creative genius into entrepreneurship and community activism, and propelling the careers of many of today’s Latino artists to stardom. During their more than 30-year career, they have built a musical empire and made listening to Cuban-infused music one of America’s favorite pastimes.”
She went on to say, “The music created by Emilio and Gloria Estefan makes you want to listen to the beat and get on your feet. They are the creative force behind the popularity of music steeped in the Latino culture. This dynamic couple’s professional and personal journey truly mirrors the American dream and we are so pleased to honor their musical legacy.”
The ‘musical auteurs’ will add the Gershwin Award to their collection of countless other notable awards in March 2019 in Washington, D.C. during a series of special concerts and events that will also air on PBS shortly after.
Gloria Estefan, whose personal story of immigration was turned into a Broadway musical, “On Your Feet”, several years ago, shared her excitement about the upcoming award on Twitter:
From the moment I started singing, I was drawn to the iconic songs of the immensely talented Gershwin brothers and have had the privilege to record several of them. I am deeply honored,… https://t.co/RLvVjDbeVB
— Gloria Estefan (@GloriaEstefan) September 24, 2018
Congratulations to Emilio and Gloria Estefan!
Are you a fan of the Estefans? What is your favorite Gloria Estefan song? Share your thoughts and join the conversation below!