Irving Berlin

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Irving Berlin.

Irving Berlin (1888 - 1989), born Israel Isidor Baline, was a Russian-born American composer. He was an extremely prolific songwriter, composer of over 3,000 songs. Among his compositions are some of America's most famous and beloved songs, including "Alexander's Ragtime Band", "God Bless America", "Puttin' on the Ritz", "There' No Business like Show Business", "White Christmas" and "Easter Parade".

Most of Berlin's compositions were songs and scores for musical theater and films, including the Ziegfeld Follies, This is the Army, Annie Get Your Gun, Puttin' On the Ritz, Holiday Inn, Easter Parade and White Christmas.

Berlin was awarded the Medal of Merit by the U.S. Army in 1945 for his musical contributions to the war effort, a special Congressional Gold Medal in 1954 for writing "God Bless America", and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977. He received three Tony Awards, for Best Score for Call Me Madam in 1951 and special Tonys in 1963 for contributions to the American musical and 1978 for a distinguished career in American theater. Nominated seven times for an Academy Award, Berlin won for Best Music, Original Song, for "White Christmas" from the movie Holiday Inn (1942). The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences honored him with a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1968.

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