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Joel to receive Gershwin Prize

The piano man. The entertainer. The stranger.

Billy Joel has called himself a lot of things over the course of his long career; now he can add “the winner” to the list.

The Library of Congress on Tuesday announced that Joel will receive the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, an award meant to honor “living musical artists whose lifetime contributions in the field of popular song exemplify the standard of excellence associated with George and Ira Gershwin,” according to a statement from the library.

“Billy Joel is a storyteller of the highest order,” said James H. Billington, the librarian of Congress, in the statement. “There is an intimacy to his songwriting that bridges the gap between the listener and the worlds he shares through his music. When you listen to a Billy Joel song, you know about the people and the place, and what happened there.”

Joel, who recently performed three sold-out concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, will receive the prize in Washington, D.C., in November.

4 novelists score notable first

Karen Joy Fowler and Joshua Ferris were among four U.S. novelists who made it onto the 13-strong long list for the 2014 Man Booker Prize, which for the first time is open to all novels originally written in English and published in Britain.

The long list was announced by the administrators of the prize Wednesday.

The list includes “To Rise Again at a Decent Hour,” by Ferris; “The Narrow Road to the Deep North,” by Australian Richard Flanagan; “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves,” by Fowler; “The Blazing World” by Siri Hustvedt; “J,” by Howard Jacobson; “The Wake,” by Paul Kingsnorth; “The Bone Clocks,” by David Mitchell; “The Lives of Others,” by Neel Mukherjee; “Us,” by David Nicholls; “The Dog,” by Joseph O’Neil; “Orfeo,” by Richard Powers; “How to Be Both,” by Ali Smith and “History of the Rain,” by Niall Williams.

The winner of the prize, worth 50,000 pounds, or roughly $85,000, is expected to be announced Oct. 14.

Moore ends 20-year marriage

Filmmaker Michael Moore’s divorce from Kathleen Glynn was finalized Tuesday, ending their two-decade-long marriage.

Moore filed a divorce complaint June 17, 2013, in Michigan’s Antrim County, where the couple has a home.

Fans flock to Comic-Con

Like Batman responding to a beaming bat signal in the sky, fans are streaming to San Diego for the 45th annual Comic-Con pop culture extravaganza.

The four-day festival celebrating film, TV, video games, comic books, costumes and other popular arts kicked off with a preview Wednesday night and begins today at the San Diego Convention Center.

More than 150,000 fans are expected to attend the sold-out event, where studios will offer exclusive previews of their latest properties.

– From News wire services