Rocker John Mellencamp has been awarded the Woody Guthrie Prize.
The Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, announced Wednesday that Mellencamp will be presented with the award during an August 30 ceremony. He is the fifth recipient.
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 centre 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.