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John Mellencamp Awarded Woody Guthrie Prize

Billboard logo Billboard 7/11/2018 Associated Press

a man holding a guitar: John Mellencamp © Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall Of Fame John Mellencamp

Rocker John Mellencamp has been awarded the Woody Guthrie Prize.

The Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, announced Wednesday (July 11) that Mellencamp will be presented with the award during an Aug. 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 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.

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