Carole King

Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Carole King is about to be feted with one of the music world's most prestigious honors.

The 71-year-old singer-songwriter will receive the 2013 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in a ceremony at the White House, the first time a female artist has nabbed the accolade.

President Barack Obama will bestow the award in the East Room on May 22 and along with First Lady Michelle Obama host a concert that will feature performances by King as well as Gloria Estefan, Billy Joel, Jesse McCartney, James Taylor, Trisha Yearwood and Emeli Sandé.

King shot to fame in 1971 with her album Tapestry, which ruled the charts for nearly four months, won her four Grammy Awards, and held the record for the most weeks at No. 1 by a female artist for 20 years.

She subsequently went on to record 18 solo albums, her most recent of which, A Holiday Carole, was released in 2011. Among her biggest hits were 1971's "It's Too Late/"I Feel the Earth Move," "Sweet Seasons," "Jazzman," and "Nightingale."

Previous recipients of the Gershwin Prize include Stevie Wonder in 2009, Paul McCartney in 2010 and the songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David in 2012.

Next week's event will be streamed live via the White House's site and is part of the Obamas' "In Performance at the White House" series.

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