Politics
Obama in a tuxedo. AP Images. Obama in a tuxedo. AP Images.  

Amid scandals, White House announces star-studded concert in East Room

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Caroline May
Political Reporter

Amid sequester and scandal in Washington, the White House announced Friday that the president and first lady will be hosting another concert as part of their “In Performance at the White House” series later this month.

The event will be held in the East Room of the White House and honor singer and songwriter Carole King, who will be awarded the 2013 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. King will be the first woman to receive the award, the White House noted in their announcement.

The program — to be streamed on the White House website and broadcast on PBS stations the evening of May 28 — will also feature performances by Gloria Estefan, Billy Joel, Jesse McCartney, Emeli Sandé, James Taylor, Trisha Yearwood and King herself.

In 2002, Carole King sang “You’ve Got a Friend” for Cuban dictator Fidel Castro at a warming-relations dinner in Havana.

“The Gershwin Prize commemorates George and Ira Gershwin, the legendary American songwriting team whose extensive manuscript collections reside in the Library of Congress,” the press announcement explains. “The prize is awarded to musicians whose lifetime contributions in the field of popular song exemplify the standard of excellence associated with the Gershwins.”

Past winners of the Gershwin award have included Stevie Wonder in 2009, Sir Paul McCartney in 2010, and Burt Bacharach and Hal David in 2012.

“Carole King: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize In Performance at the White House” will be the eleventh “In Performance at the White House” program that Barack and Michelle Obama have hosted.

“Starting in February 2009, these events have honored the musical genius of Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach and Hal David; celebrated Hispanic musical heritage during Hispanic Heritage Month; marked Black History Month with events featuring music from the Civil Rights Movement, Motown, Memphis Soul and the Blues; spotlighted Broadway and the unique spirit of the American musical; and explored the rich roots and resiliency of Country Music,” the press announcement reads.

In recent days, the administration has come under fire for the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups, the administration’s handling of the terror attack in Benghazi, Libya, and the Department of Justice’s secret gathering of Associated Press phone records.

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