updated 02/24/2009 AT 9:00 AM ET
•originally published 02/24/2009 AT 10:15 AM ET
During Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, Stevie Wonder honored him in song at rallies and fundraisers. Now the President is returning the favor to the artist he’s called his musical hero.
On Wednesday, Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will present Wonder, 58, with the Library of Congress’s Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
The salute, to be held in the White House’s East Room and broadcast Thursday night on PBS, will feature artists including Martina McBride (who will sing Wonder’s hit “You and I”), Will.I.Am, Tony Bennett, Paul Simon and India.Arie.
Obama last year told Rolling Stone that he really got into music during Wonder’s heyday in the early ’70s, when Wonder released albums like Talking Book, Innervisions and Songs in the Key of Life. “So that was a guy I loved,” Obama said.