“Bridge Over Troubled Water” was written by Paul Simon in 1969 and recorded in 1970 with Art Garfunkel. “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” which is one of the most enduring songs from the past four decades, won the GRAMMY Award for Record of the Year and Song of the Year in 1971. It also reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on February 28, 1970 and stayed at the top of the charts for six weeks.
Special Citation of Achievement was presented by BMI to Paul Simon in recognition of the great national popularity as measured by over 5 million broadcast performances attained by “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Following these prestigious awards, Aretha Franklin performed a gospel-inspired cover which landed number one on the U.S. R&B chart and number six on the pop chart. Elvis Presley, another legendary artist, also recorded Simon’s song and released it on his 1970 album That’s the Way It Is to also include a documentary of Presley creating the album. Presley’s version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” was included in the Golden Globe-winning documentary Elvis on Tour.
Other artists to cover Simon’s song include Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, Shirley Bassey, and Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. It has been recorded over 300 times. Performances of this song have been by David Foster, Andrea Bocelli, Mary J. Blige, Anita Baker, Clay Aiken, Johnny Cash, Josh Groban and many more.
The Towering Song Award is presented each year to the creators of an individual song that has influenced our culture in a unique way over many years. Previous Towering Songs have included “Moon River,” “Take Me Out To The Ballgame,” “Unchained Melody,” “When The Saints Go Marching In,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” “You’re A Grand Old Flag,” “What The World Needs Now Is Love” and “Fly Me To The Moon.”