Music legend Kris Kristofferson was in Tulsa Tuesday night. He was honored at Cain’s Ballroom for following in the footsteps of Woody Guthrie.
Known for his songwriting, with hits like Sunday Morning Coming Down, Help Me Make It, and Me and Bobby McGee, Kristofferson has been a cultural icon.
He’s received three Grammy awards, a Golden Globe for best actor in A Star Is Born, and it is estimated that by the late 80s, more than 450 artists had recorded his compositions.
Tuesday night, he added another award to his already lengthy resume.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are honored to be presenting the Woody Guthrie Prize to Kris Kristofferson,” said Deana McCloud with the Woody Guthrie Center.
The 80-year-old musician was honored with the Woody Guthrie Prize, which is given to someone who uses their art to speak for the less fortunate – embodying the spirit and life work of Woody Guthrie.
"He understood that his art was more than just his talent. It was a social advocacy tool so he could speak up for those in society who were disenfranchised," McCloud said. “He follows in the footsteps of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, who received the first award, and Mavis Staples, who received the second award."
The Woody Guthrie Prize has been awarded in New York City, Los Angeles, but this is the first time it's been given out in Tulsa.
The award was given out at the same time that Kristofferson's personal effects are on display at the Woody Guthrie Museum.