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Billy Joel enters pantheon of greats with award

By Claire Williamson

The US Library of Congress is honouring Billy Joel with its Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

Librarian James Billington said that the singer-songwriter, some of whose biggest hits include Piano Man and Uptown Girl, will receive the prize in Washington in November.

The Gershwin Prize honours a living artist's lifetime achievement in music.

Previous recipients include Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney, the songwriting duo of Burt Bacharach and the late Hal David, and Carole King.

Joel is among the world's most popular recording artists with an extensive back catalogue. He has said his piano-driven compositions spring from personal experiences, and that he strives to write songs that capture and transcend those moments.

With a career spanning 50 years in the entertainment industry, Joel is the sixth top-selling artist of all time.

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