Washington, DC has a hot new music venue, and it’s Barack Obama’s White House. Stevie Wonder will be honored with performances by Will.i.am, Tony Bennett, Diana Krall and many more in the presidential mansion’s East Room for “Stevie Wonder in Performance at the White House: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize.” Obama himself will present Wonder with the Gershwin Award on February 25th. The one-hour special will air on PBS channels nationwide the following day, Billboard.com reports.
“If I had one musical hero, it would have to be Stevie Wonder,” Obama told Rolling Stone during a June 2008 interview. “When I was at that point where you start getting involved in music, Stevie had that run with Music of My Mind, Talking Book, Fulfillingness’ First Finale and Innervisions, and then Songs in the Key of Life. Those are as brilliant a set of five albums as we’ve ever seen.”
Another of Obama’s favorite artists will also play the White House’s East Room on February 22nd when Earth, Wind and Fire perform for U.S. Governors and guests in an event hosted by the Obamas. “I have pretty eclectic tastes. I grew up in the Seventies, so a lot of Seventies rhythm & blues and pop were staples for me: Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind and Fire, Elton John, Rolling Stones,” Obama said in the same interview.
Additionally, the Library of Congress offered Wonder a musical commission, which Wonder will perform at a recital on February 23rd at the Library’s Coolidge Auditorium. Stevie Wonder is the second recipient to receive the Gershwin Award, following Paul Simon getting the honor in 2007.