Bruce Springsteen and Gladys Knight were at the White House Tuesday where President Joe Biden honored them with the National Medal of Arts, which “honors exemplary individuals and organizations that have advanced the arts in America.”
“The work of our honorees is as diverse as the nation that celebrates with them today, but common threads weave them together in many ways ,” Biden said at the ceremony. “The pursuit of excellence, the drive to create, the yearning to connect and the boldness to be truth tellers, bridge builders and change seekers.” He added, “Above all, you are masters of your craft.”
When it came to Bruce, who received the customary chants of “Bruuuce,” Biden tried to claim him for Delaware instead of New Jersey, which drew laughs. “Bruce Springsteen a poet, troubadour a chronicler of American life, resilience and hope,” Biden said, noting the rocker’s many achievements including the “love of millions of fans across generations.”
Regarding Knight, the National Endowment of the Arts highlighted how she “inspired generations of artists, captivated by her soundtrack of a golden age in American music,” with Biden adding, “you are truly one of the best things to happen in terms of music.”
Also receiving an honor was Jose Feliciano, who did not attend the ceremony. The NEA recognized Feliciano’s 60 years in the business, noting he’s “opened hearts and built bridges—overcoming obstacles, never losing faith, and enriching the goodness and greatness of the Nation.”
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