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Paul McCartney in US for major music award

Sir Paul McCartney has fielded a mix of questions at a press conference in Washington DC.

The former Beatle, who turns 68 later this month, is set to receive The Library of Congress' Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in a special tribute concert in the East Room of the White House.

The prize celebrates McCartney's decades-long music that spans from his years with The Beatles to his current solo output.

The concert will feature a tribute by major stars, many of whom will perform the songs that propelled McCartney to legendary status in music around the world.

The line-up of stars include Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill, Jonas Brothers, Dave Grohl, Elvis Costello, Corinne Bailey Rae and remarks by Jerry Seinfeld.

When asked about the BP oil spill, McCartney said it was a "disgrace" and "terrible".

But he did express his excitement and enthusiasm to perform in front of US President Barack Obama. He said: "I am a big fan. He's a great guy-- so, lay off him. He's doing great."

Named to honour the songwriting team of brothers George and Ira Gershwin, the prize "recognises musicians whose careers reflect a lifetime achievement in promoting song as a vehicle of artistic expression and cultural understanding," the library said in a statement.

The Gershwin Prize for Popular Songs was created by the Library of Congress to honour artists whose creative output transcends distinction between musical styles and idioms, bringing diverse listeners together and fostering mutual understanding and appreciation.

Last Updated: 06/02/10 06:07

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34 people have commented on this story so far. Tell us what you think below.
by Joyce : Upland, USA June 13, 2010 10:44 PM EDT (Guest)  click to register
His comments was not called for. If I remember he was supposed to recieve this award 2 years ago from Bush? I guess that was alright then? I have been a huge fan all my life, but my respect went down a notch. He should stay out of politics, he should remember sitting on the tarmac in New York on 9/11. He also should apolgize for his bad judgment.
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by Rick : carlisle usa June 11, 2010 8:58 AM EDT (Guest)  click to register
I think the indication of how Americans feel about Paul`s comment will be reflected in ticket sales for his upcoming concerts. Personally I hope people just get over it and go and see Paul in concert because he is truly amazing live, however I do believe what he said was inappropriate and insensitive at best. He`s entitled to his opinions, but he might want to exercise better timing the next time he speaks.
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by GJohnson : Raleigh,NC June 11, 2010 12:07 AM EDT (Guest)  click to register
This was all that Paul said, about 15 words. Don’t read too much in this. Paul is displaying what so much of Europe thinks of Bush vs. Obama. Why do you think Pres. Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize for doing nothing, by his and the committee’s own admission? Europe wants America to be socialist and docile just like them and when we are not, they absolutely despise us. They see Obama as a means to that end in stark contrast to Bush. His comments are a reflection of that European attitude. Entertainment people are a joke when it comes to political issues and should just shut up. Even though they don’t, I consider these opinions separate from their entertainment contributions. I was surprised by Paul’s Freedom song. I knew he basically subscribes to the liberal establishment viewpoint. How quickly we forget that for about a year, many passivist liberals were supportive of Bush and the defense of the nation.
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by BEATLE4EVER : Strongsville/USA June 10, 2010 12:05 AM EDT (Guest)  click to register
Let it be already
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by Nowhere Fan : Norwegian Wood June 9, 2010 2:52 PM EDT (Guest)  click to register
I don`t think McCartney struggles to stay relevant and cool. He never could handle being `hip` anyway. Even in The Beatles he was just Paul. He can make a `modern` record like "Electric Arguments". Or "McCartney II", thirty years ago. He takes the challenge. But the next thing he do could be a children song, an old-fashioned tune (like "When I`m Sixty Four"), or some classical music. You never know. He surprise you. : )
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by mike oliva : ny/usa June 9, 2010 12:12 PM EDT (Guest)  click to register
I too was really upset by this stupid comment from Macca. I have been a life long fan like the rest of you. I have all the Beatles, Wings, & Solo stuff from tapes, records, to cds..I have too spent a lot of hard earned $$$ to see his expensive concerts many times...if you noticed most people including the President kinda cringed when Macca said it..folks from both political parties were there to celebrate the honor and a night of fun music. There was absolutely no place for this crap. I think that since Linda passed and what he has been through since has taken its toll on him. He struggles to stay "cool" and to revelant at his age and it just doesn`t work! I believe that this was probably wriitten for him by one of his young handlers so he could sound "hip"! He was trying to be like Lennon and it is not him period. Macca usually has been a standup guy and should apologize for this.
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by Paul : Little Rock, AR, USA June 9, 2010 9:53 AM EDT (Guest)  click to register
McCartney declined the KENNEDY Center Honors because his daughter had already scheduled her wedding for that particular day. Personally, I would give a guy a day off work to attend his daughter`s wedding, but I`m probably too pro-family.
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by Rick : carlisle usa June 7, 2010 1:24 PM EDT (Guest)  click to register
That comment was insensitive and inappropriate considering the situation. I`m not a huge fan of former President Bush, however a certain amount of respect is expected for former Presidents. I have never heard Paul make such a negative comment about anybody in public before, and that`s saying alot considering how his former wife Heather Mills raked him over the coals during their divorce. I`m a huge Beatles and McCartney fan and will continue to be, however I am disappointed and would hope that Paul would apologize for such an insensitive remark. I`m afraid the person who was hurt the most by that remark was Paul himself in the form of his credibility and popularity. America will love you more if you man up and apologize.
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by Former Admirer : USA June 6, 2010 8:43 PM EDT (Guest)  click to register
BEATLE4EVER - thank you for the correction on the name of the honors from Bush. I believe Paul declined the honor to the president who was said to be surprised, so even if the president did not personally pick the nominees, it was perceived to be from him which is why I believe he did not accept it. I don`t think the Queen picks MBE honrorees or knights herself does she? Yes Paul`s accomplishments are astonishing especially considering his drug abuse, proving how amazingly gifted he is. Unfortunately that does not necessarily guarantee good judgement at all times. (Heather Mills, Japan episode, etc.) Look I`m not trying to get anyone else not to like him if they still do. I`m going to need people to sell my collection to right? If you like him, great. Enjoy! I wish I still could. I don`t like that I can`t enjoy most products of the entertainment industry any more because they`ve been tainted with political rancor, but that`s how it is with me.
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by BEATLE4EVER : Strongsville/USA June 6, 2010 7:55 PM EDT (Guest)  click to register
Hey former admirer, The title is not The Lincoln Center Honors rather The Kennedy Center Honors. George Bush had nothing to do with the selection of honorees, that is decided by The Board of Trustees for the John F. Kennedy Center of Performing Arts. Also, you posted that McCartney spent most of his adult life high. How many burnouts do you know that started with nothing, wrote some of the greatest music this world has ever known, owns their own publishing company, has real estate holdings,a priceless art collection,and is worth nearly a billion dollars ?.......can you think of anyone in the world that has done that ?......Please don`t compare a self made man to one who was born on third base and thought he earned a triple!!!
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Paul McCartney in US for major music award

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News Summary

Sir Paul McCartney has fielded a mix of questions at a press conference in Washington DC.