WASHINGTON, DC (CelebrityAccess) – Sir Elton John was surprised after being honored with the National Humanities Medal after giving a special performance at the White House on Friday (September 23).
The President and First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, honored John for his philanthropic contributions, including founding the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992.
John and his husband, David Furnish, were part of the event, A Night When Hope and History Rhyme, which was organized in collaboration with The History Channel and A+E Networks and was planned to “celebrate the unifying and healing power of music, commend the life and work of Sir Elton John, and honor the every day history-makers in the audience, including teachers, nurses, frontline workers, mental health advocates, students, LGBTQ+ advocates and more,” according to an official descriptor of the event.
On the famed south lawn, John performed several of his hits including “Tiny Dancer,” “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” “Rocketman,” and more before the President and First Lady surprised him by presenting him with the National Humanities Medal.
“I’m honored to receive the National Humanities Medal from President Biden and the First Lady during such a spectacular event at the White House,” said John in a statement. “It’s been emotional for me to be recognized for the achievements of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Since I founded the foundation at my kitchen table in Atlanta 30 years ago, I made a commitment not to leave anyone behind and will continue on this mission.”
John Added, “We are striving for a future where people of all races, ethnicities, nationalities, sexual orientations, and gender identities have the opportunity to live free from AIDS, stigma, injustice and maltreatment – and I’m so grateful recognition likes this brings us a step closer to making that a reality.”
This was John’s second invitation to a White House performance. In 1998, John was invited by then-President Bill Clinton to entertain a State Dinner for then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair.