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Elton John and Bernie Taupin Awarded Gershwin Prize for Popular Song: 'An Inspiration'

The British songwriters were awarded the coveted honor from The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday

<p>Kevin Mazur/Getty</p> Bernie Taupin and Elton John at the Library Of Congress 2024 Gershwin Prize for Popular Song

Kevin Mazur/Getty

Bernie Taupin and Elton John at the Library Of Congress 2024 Gershwin Prize for Popular Song

Elton John and his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin are being celebrated.

The legendary songwriting duo was presented with the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song by The Library of Congress at a ceremony held in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.

The singer, 76, and his longtime collaborator, 73, were honored at the event with a tribute concert featuring performances from Maren Morris, Metallica, Annie Lennox and Brandi Carlile.

Ahead of his award acceptance, John also performed his songs “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” and “Saturday Night’s Alright."

"They’re an inspiration to us," Metallica singer James Hatfield told reporters at the ceremony.

"They’re responsible for some of the greatest songs of my childhood," added bandmate Kirk Hammett.

<p>Kevin Mazur/Getty</p> Elton John performing onstage during the Library Of Congress 2024 Gershwin Prize for Popular Song

Kevin Mazur/Getty

Elton John performing onstage during the Library Of Congress 2024 Gershwin Prize for Popular Song

Related: Elton John Joins the EGOT Club While Picking Up First-Ever Emmy for Farewell Show

Brandi Carlile, 42, also said that "Nothing in the world could have kept me away from this evening" ahead of performing her cover of John's "Madman Across the Water"

"Saying yes was not hard at all, but choosing just one song that holds special meaning for me was nearly impossible," Carlile added. "The honest to God-truth is that I may have never written a song or even played a musical instrument without Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s music."

"When I discovered them, it was around 1993. It was the first thing I ever found in my life that was just mine," she continued. "My parents didn't like it — sorry, guys. They do now! But I was 11 and Elton was wild and outrageously dangerously fabulous. And he's saying the most beautiful stories I have ever heard."

John and Taupin, who first met in 1967 and have created songs together for over 50 years, were announced as this year's Gershwin Prize recipients in January.

<p>Kevin Mazur/Getty</p> Bernie Taupin and Elton John speaking onstage during the Library Of Congress 2024 Gershwin Prize for Popular Song

Kevin Mazur/Getty

Bernie Taupin and Elton John speaking onstage during the Library Of Congress 2024 Gershwin Prize for Popular Song

At the time, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden shared that John and Taupin were chosen for having "written some of the most memorable songs of our lives," some of which include "Bennie and the Jets," "Crocodile Rock," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,"  "Rocket Man" and "Tiny Dancer."

"Their careers stand out for the quality and broad appeal of their music and their influence on their fellow artists," Hayden's statement continued. "More than 50 years ago, they came from across the pond to win over Americans and audiences worldwide with their beautiful songs and rock anthems. We're proud to honor Elton and Bernie with the Gershwin Prize for their incredible impact on generations of music lovers."

<p>Rachel Luna/Getty</p> Elton John and Bernie Taupin at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards

Rachel Luna/Getty

Elton John and Bernie Taupin at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards

Related: Bernie Taupin Opens Up About His Biggest Songs with Elton John — and Teases They'll 'Definitely' Make More Music (Exclusive)

John also previously shared a statement about what an "incredible honor" it is to be recognized by The Library of Congress.

"I've been writing songs with Bernie for 56 years, and we never thought that that one day this might be bestowed upon us," the Grammy winner said. "It's an incredible honor for two British guys to be recognized like this. I'm so honored."

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer added, "To be in a house along with the great American songwriters, to even be in the same avenue is humbling, and I am absolutely thrilled to accept."

John and Taupin join an impressive list of past Gershwin Prize honorees, including Emilio and Gloria Estefan, Billy Joel, Carole King, Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Willie Nelson, Lionel Richie and Stevie Wonder, among many others.

<p>P. Lehman/Future Publishing via Gett</p> Elton John and Bernie Taupin at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival in May 2019

P. Lehman/Future Publishing via Gett

Elton John and Bernie Taupin at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival in May 2019

Related: Elton John Says He's Finished Next Album — and It Will 'Surprise the S---' Out of People

John and Taupin's Gershwin Prize comes off the heels of the "Candle in the Wind" singer reaching EGOT status (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony) in January when his Disney+ special, Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium, took home the Emmy for best variety special.

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At the time, John posted to Instagram to share a thoughtful note about how thrilled he was about the accomplishment. "We won an Emmy and I am on cloud nine!! Receiving this recognition is a testament to the passion and dedication of everyone involved, and I am so deeply grateful," John wrote in the caption.

After thanking his team behind the special and Farewell Yellow Brick Road touring crew, as the special documented one night of the tour, he added, "Honoured to have joined the hallowed ranks of EGOT winners, here’s to the joy of music and the magic it brings to our lives!"

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