WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama, saluting Carole King’s five decades as an award-winning singer-songwriter, said Wednesday that music often is a place where people seek comfort and inspiration during trying times.
Two days after much of Moore, Okla., was flattened by a powerful tornado that killed 24 people, Obama pledged anew that the nation will assist with the town’s recovery and rebuilding for as long as it takes.
“Eventually, life will go on and new memories will be made. New laughter will come. New songs will be sung,” he said during a tribute concert for King in the East Room of the White House. “And that’s often why we turn to music during trying times, for comfort and for inspiration, and sometimes just for a good diversion.”
Calling her a “living legend,” Obama presented King with this year’s Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, an award given by the Library of Congress. She is the first woman so honored and joins a list of recipients that includes Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon.
Several friends from King’s decades in the music business came to the White House to perform in her honor, including Gloria Estefan, Billy Joel, Jesse McCartney, Emeli Sande, James Taylor and Trisha Yearwood.