TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Rocker John Mellencamp has been chosen to receive the Woody Guthrie Prize.
The Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, announced Wednesday that Mellencamp is the fifth recipient of the award and will be presented with it during an Aug. 30 ceremony.
The annual prize is given to an artist who best exemplifies the spirit and life work of Woody Guthrie by speaking for the less fortunate and serving as a positive force for social change.
The center says in a news release that Mellencamp, like Guthrie, “has used his artistic gifts to spread a positive message of hope, equality and freedom.”
Mellencamp is an Indiana native and a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His latest album, “Sad Clowns and Hillbillies,” includes the song “My Soul’s Got Wings,” with lyrics written by Guthrie and music by Mellencamp.