Elton John plays in the White House

US President Joe Biden took the opportunity to present Elton John with the National Humanities Medal.

The tour Farewell Yellow Brick Road of Elton John made a detour by the White House on Friday. The singer performed in front of a select audience, which included US President Joe Biden, at an event titled ” A Night When Hope and History Rhyme “.

John performed his greatest hits on the South Lawn of the White House, including ” Tiny Dancer », « Rocket Man », « Your Song ” and ” I’m Still Standing “. The concert was produced in conjunction with A&E Networks and The History Channel; the two networks footed the bill for the event, the White House told CNN.

As noted varietyPresident Biden surprised the singer by appearing on stage and presenting him with the National Humanities Medal for his work in the fight against the AIDS epidemic.

The President of the United States awards this National Humanities Medal to Sir Elton John for moving our souls with his powerful voice, one of the most defining songbooks of all timethe White House said (via Variety). An enduring icon and an advocate of 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. »

According to a press release, A Night When Hope and History Rhyme (an allusion to a poem by Seamus Heaney)” will celebrate the unifying and healing power of music, pay homage to the life and work of Sir Elton John, and honor everyday history makers in the audience, including teachers, nurses, frontline workers , mental health advocates, students, LGBTQ+ advocates and more “. Elton John opened up about his longtime AIDS activism, telling the crowd that he hopes to eradicate the disease by 2030.

It was very moving for me to be recognized for the accomplishments of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Since I founded the Foundation at my kitchen table in Atlanta 30 years ago, I have been committed to leaving no one behind and I will continue this mission, John said in a statement. We aspire to 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 abuse. And I’m so happy that recognition like this brings us closer to that reality. »

John had previously visited the White House in 1998 when President Bill Clinton hosted British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Daniel Kreps

Translated by the editor

Elton John plays in the White House