Stevie Wonder celebrated at White House Updated: 15:30, Thursday February 26, 2009 President Barack Obama has presented singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder with the highest award for pop music in the US. Obama, who called Wonder the 'soundtrack of his youth', gave the singer the Library of Congress' Gershwin Prize for Popular Song during an East Room tribute that featured Tony Bennett, Martina McBride and Wonder himself. The president joked that the group was 'the most accomplished Stevie Wonder cover band in history'. Wonder was emotional at times, thanking Obama for the award and reflecting on what his election as the first black president means to the United States. 'What is truly exciting for me today is that we truly have lived to see a time and a space where America has a chance to again live up to the greatness that it deserves to be seen and known as, through the love and caring and the commitment of a president - as in our president, Barack Obama,' he said. Obama praised Wonder's decades-long career and a style that has blended pop and funk, RB and gospel. 'Stevie has always drawn on the incredible range of traditions in his music and, from that, he's created a style that's at once uniquely American, uniquely his own, and yet somehow universal,' Obama said. First lady Michelle Obama spoke in more personal terms, calling Wonder 'one of the world's greatest artists'. She recalled how she and her grandfather would listen to Wonder's albums together. 'He'd blast music throughout the house and that's where he and I would sit and listen to Stevie's music together - songs about life, love, romance, heartache, despair. He would let me listen to these songs over and over and over and over again,' she said. The first album she bought was Wonder's Talking Book, and she and Barack Obama used his song You and I as their wedding song. The Gershwin Prize honours George and Ira Gershwin and is given for lifetime achievement in popular music. Paul Simon claimed the nation's first prize in 2007.