In her five decades of songwriting, King's hits have included "You've Got a Friend," "So Far Away" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman." The library said Thursday that King will be the fifth person to receive the prize. Prior recipients include Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney.
Librarian of Congress James Billington says King's work has been recorded by many artists to communicate universal human emotions like love, joy and pain.
King will receive the prize in the spring and says in a statement that she looks forward to performing in Washington. Honorees are typically saluted at the White House.