As part of an event called ‘A Night When Hope and History Rhyme’, Elton John was awarded a National Humanties Medal by President Joe Biden.
The music icon received this award at the White House, as part of an event, celebrating teachers, students, frontline workers, along with LGBTQIA rights workers.
Along with receiving the accolade, the ceremony saw Elton John play a number of his classic tracks. The singer performed, ‘Crocodile Rock’, ‘Tiny Dancer’, ‘Your Song’, and ‘Rocket Man’.
This event was also attended by over 2,000 people, including education activist Malala Yousafzai, AIDS activist Jeanne White-Ginder and former First Lady Laura Bush.
It also marked Elton John’s appearance at the White House since 1998, when President Bill Clinton welcomed British Prime Minister Tony Blair in a state dinner.
“never flabergasted, but I’m flabergasted”
At the ceremony, Elton John was praised “for moving our souls with his powerful voice and one of the defining song books of all time. An enduring icon and advocate with absolute courage, who found purpose to challenge convention, shatter stigma and advance the simple truth – that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect”.
Visibly moved by the recognition, Elton John uttered a few words at the ceremony.
“I’m never flabbergasted, but I’m flabbergasted, and humbled, and honoured by this incredible award from the United States of America”, Elton John told the audience.
“I will treasure this so much, and will make me double my effort to make sure this disease goes away. America’s kindness to me as a musician is second to none, but in the war against AIDS and HIV is even bigger”.
You can check out Elton John receiving the medal below.
Elton John is currently in the midst of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. It was recently confirmed that the singer’s last ever stateside performance was to be televised on Disney+. Find out more on this from Nova here.