Elton John was awarded a special medal by U.S. President Joe Biden following an event at the White House on Friday.
The music legend was invited by President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden to perform as part of the A Night When Hope and History Rhyme event staged on the South Lawn of the grounds.
But after his concert, Biden presented John with the National Humanities Medal in honour of his services to music and fundraising for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
“Throughout his career, Elton found his voice – not only his voice, but his voice to help others and help them find their voice,” praised Biden. “With his hope, he made history rhyme for countless people in our nation. That’s what tonight is all about. Elton often talked about how American music changed his life and how the different genres and sounds influenced his own music and imagination. It’s clear Elton John’s music has changed our lives.”
In response, John appeared to become emotional by the surprise presentation.
“I just said to the First Lady: I’m never flabbergasted, but I’m flabbergasted and humbled and honoured 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,” the 75-year-old insisted. “Your kindness – America’s kindness to me as a musician is second to none. But in the war against AIDS and HIV, it’s even bigger. And I can’t thank you enough. I’m really – I’m really emotional about this. And thank you.”
John is currently in the U.S. for the North America leg of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.
– Cover Media