Joe Biden presents an emotional Elton John with the National Humanities Medal at the White House

An emotional Sir Elton John was “stunned” after US President Joe Biden presented him with a surprise liberal arts medal recognizing his illustrious career and advocacy work to end HIV and AIDS.

After appearing at the White House on September 23, the performer appeared shocked when the President announced he would be awarded the National Humanities Medal.

A proclamation said the award recognizes his career “moving our souls with his powerful voice in one of the defining songbooks of all time” and “as an enduring icon and advocate with absolute courage who has found the goal of defying convention, stigmatizing.” breaking and advancing the simple truth that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.”

President Biden presents Sir Elton John with the National Humanities Medal

(Getty Images)

“I think we surprised him,” the president joked.

The White House event – ​​“A Night When Hope and History Rhyme” – was attended by around 2,000 “everyday storytellers”, including teachers, nurses and representatives of LGBT+ advocacy groups, among others.

John performed several of his hits, including “Your Song,” followed by “Tiny Dancer,” “Rocket Man,” “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” and “Crocodile Rock,” before ending with a jubilant “I Stand.” still”.

He dedicated “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” to Ryan White and his mother, Jeanne White-Ginder, who attended the concert. Her son died of complications from AIDS in 1990, a month before he graduated from high school.

The National Humanities Medal recognized his years of effort to end HIV and AIDS through the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which he established in 1992.

The organization has since raised more than $600million (£553million) to fund efforts to tackle the AIDS pandemic across four continents. He has set himself the goal of eradicating the virus by 2030.

“I’m never amazed, but I’m amazed, humbled and honored,” John said. “It will make me redouble my efforts to make sure this disease goes away.” Joe Biden presents an emotional Elton John with the National Humanities Medal at the White House


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