President Joe Biden presented Elton John with a pleasant surprise following the music legend’s performance on the South Lawn of the White House on Friday to honor everyday history-makers.
Biden presented John with the National Humanities Medal. “The President of the United States awards this National Humanities Medal to Sir Elton John for moving our souls with his powerful voice in one of the defining songbooks of all time. An enduring icon and advocate with absolutely courage, who found purpose to challenge convention, shatter stigma, and advance the simple truth that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect,” reads the citation.
Biden said, “Throughout his career, Elton found his voice – not only his voice, but his voice to help others and help them find their voice”.
“It’s clear Elton John’s music has changed our lives,” he added.
In his reply speech, John said, “I just said to the First Lady: I’m never flabbergasted, but I’m flabbergasted and humbled and honored by this incredible award from the United States of America”.
“I will treasure this so much and it will make me double my efforts to make sure this disease goes away,” he added, referring to the fight against AIDS and HIV.
John’s husband David, their children, and U.K. Ambassador to the United States Karen Pierce were among those who attended the function.
(Photo: Ernst Vikne)
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