On Friday, Jan. 12 at 9 pm ET, PBS will air the music special Tony Bennett: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Bennett, the first “interpretive singer” to be awarded the prestigious award that has been generally awarded to noted songwriters, was presented with the Gershwin Prize back in November in a ceremony that featured performances by Chris Botti, Michael Bublé, Gloria Estefan, Savion Glover, Josh Groban, Wé McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Lukas Nelson, Vanessa Williams and 2008 Gershwin Prize honoree Stevie Wonder, plus a special presentation by Wynton Marsalis. In that event held at DAR Constitution Hall, Bennett also performed with his working band of Tom Ranier (piano), Gray Sargent (guitar), Harold Jones (drums) and Marshall Wood (bass). The house band was led by drummer and producer Gregg Field and included Shelly Berg on piano and Reggie Hamilton on bass. The ceremony and subsequent TV special was hosted by actor and sometime musician Bruce Willis.
Previous recipients of the Gershwin Prize include: Smokey Robinson (2016); Willie Nelson (2015); Billy Joel (2014); Carole King (2012); Burt Bacharach (2011); Hal David (2010); Paul McCartney (2009); Stevie Wonder (2008); and Paul Simon (2007).