Sir Elton John and husband David Furnish were hosted by President Joe Biden and the First Lady Dr. Jill Biden as part of A Night When Hope and History Rhyme event, organized in collaboration with The History Channel and A+E Networks. President Biden surprised John by presenting him with a National Humanities Medal following a performance at the White House.
John performed several of his hits including “Tiny Dancer,” “Rocketman,” and “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” on the White House South Lawn, before the President and First Lady surprised him by presenting him with the National Humanities Medal. John was given the medal for his singing and songwriting career, and also for his contributions to charities and humanitarian causes such as HIV/AIDS. The Elton John AIDS Foundation was launched in 1992 and has since raised over $450 million and funded programs across four continents.
John covered his face in disbelief when the medal was presented to him, saying: “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.” John was at the White House as part of an event to honor “everyday history-makers in the audience,” according to the White House. There were also teachers, military families and LBGT+ advocates in the audience. and among those in attendance were former first lady Laura Bush, tennis champion Billie Jean King, British Ambassador to the United States Karen Elizabeth Pierce, and John’s husband, David Furnish.
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