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Paul McCartney feted by Mr Obama and star musicians, including Jonas Brothers

Obama presents Paul McCartney with Gershwin Prize Enlarge

Barack may have presented Paul with the award, but the musician had plenty of praise for the US President as well
 Photo: © Rex

Jonas Brothers at presentation of Gershwin Prize Enlarge

The Jonas Brothers, who have performed at the White House several times, looked sharp at the event
 Photo: © Getty Images

Stevie Wonder and Elvis Costello at Gershwin Prize presentation Enlarge

Last year's recipient, Stevie Wonder, shares a moment with Elvis Costello at the ceremony
 Photo: © Getty Images

03 JUNE 2010

With a career that has spanned 50 years, Paul McCartney is undoubtedly one of the music world's living legends.

And this week he joined an elite group of singer-songwriters when President Obama awarded him the US Library of Congress's Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, one of the highest honours in music.

The Obama family hosted a tribute concert that brought together an eclectic group of talented musicians who performed Paul's songs at the White House.

One of Sasha and Malia's favourite bands, the Jonas Brothers, played Drive My Car, while Stevie Wonder – last year's recipient – entertained with We Can Work It Out.

Other stars who helped honour the ex-Beatle were Faith Hill, Elvis Costello and Jack White.

As for President Obama, he praised the impact the Beatles had on popular music, saying they "blew the walls down for everybody else" and "helped to lay the soundtrack for an entire generation".

Paul, one of only three winners of the Gershwin Prize and the only non-American, seemed excited to receive the award from Barack and expressed his support for the US leader.

"Getting this prize would be good enough, but getting it from this president…" he said with a smile. "You have billions of us who are rooting for you, and we know you’re going to come through."

Of course the real treat of the night was when Paul picked up his guitar to perform a set of songs that included Let It Be and Michelle, a number he said he had been “itching to do at the White House,” no doubt with the lovely First Lady in mind.

The night ended with Hey Jude, as the first family got on stage to join Paul in singing the popular melody.

The concert will air on US television network PBS on July 28.