Watch Elton John Receive President Biden’s Surprise Medal

Elton John was reduced to tears after receiving an unexpected honor from US President Joe Biden last night (September 23).

He was not told in advance that he would receive a National Humanities Medal for his work on the AIDS epidemic in the 1990s. The presentation came after he performed outside the White House , Variety reported.

“Tonight it is my great honour, and I say this sincerely, to present the National Medal of Humanities to Sir Elton John,” Biden told the audience on A Night When Hope and History Rhyme, hosted by A+E Networks and The History. Channel. Hearing what was said, John looked surprised, then burst into tears and took First Lady Jill Biden’s hand. A TV report can be seen below.

The citation read: “The President of the United States awards this National Medal of Humanities to Sir Elton John for stirring our souls with his powerful voice and one of the defining songbooks of all time. An enduring icon and advocate with absolute courage, who has found purpose in challenging convention, breaking down stigma and advancing a simple truth: that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. »

After the president placed the medal around John’s neck and hugs were exchanged, Biden laughed, “I think we surprised him!” John himself commented: “I just said to the First Lady, ‘I am never flabbergasted, but I am flabbergasted – and humbled and honoured.

He told the crowd that he started the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1991 and repeated his goal to eradicate the disease by 2030, saying, “We can do it – and we will”. He told former First Lady Barbara Bush, whose husband George W. Bush was not present, “We never would have come this far without President Bush. Please tell him for me, give him a big hug. I just wish America could be more bipartisan on everything.

The National Humanities Medal is awarded to those whose work “deepens the nation’s understanding of the humanities, expands our citizens’ engagement with the humanities, or helps preserve and expand Americans’ access to resources.” important in the human sciences.

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