Annie Lennox, James Hetfield & More Sing Elton John & Bernie Taupin’s Praises at 2024 Gershwin Prize Concert

The stars not only shone over the nation’s capital on Wednesday (March 20), when Elton John and Bernie Taupin were honored with the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song — they sparkled, glistened and danced.

Only the third writing team — and only the second and third Brits — to receive the honor from the Library of Congress, the acclaimed duo brought a diversity of artists to the stage at DAR Constitution Hall. Joining the serenade were 2020 Gershwin Prize honoree Garth Brooks, Brandi Carlile, Annie Lennox, Metallica, Maren Morris, Billy Porter, Charlie Puth and Jacob Lusk of Gabriels. 2023 honoree Joni Mitchell turned “I’m Still Standing” into a simmering jazz number. All but Metallica were backed by John’s own band.


What united the performers were their musical chops and their sheer, unabashed delight to be feting two of their musical heroes. It was a joy matched only by John and Taupin, seated front and center with their families, who could be seen grooving along, hands in the air.

John took a seat at the piano toward the end of the evening to gift the crowd with a trio of songs: “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters,” “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” and closer “Your Song,” performed as Taupin stood piano-side. Porter emceed the event, which will be broadcast on PBS on April 8.

Before showtime, Billboard caught up with some of the night’s performers — including the men of the hour — on the red carpet. From their inspirations to their favorite songs, here’s what they had to say:

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