Watch: Elton John performs at White House. Then, Joe Biden surprises him with…

Published on Sep 24, 2022 11:49 AM IST

Elton John In White House: President Joe Biden surprised him with the National Humanities Medal for being a “tidal wave” who helped people rise up for justice.

British singer Elton John and his husband David Furnish stand on stage with US President Joe Biden.(AFP)
British singer Elton John and his husband David Furnish stand on stage with US President Joe Biden.(AFP)

The White House South Lawn was transformed on Friday night as singer “Rocket Man” Elton John played a farewell gig to honor teachers, nurses and AIDS activists.

“Let's play some music,” the 75-year-old British songwriter said. The event took a different turn when US President Joe Biden surprised Elton John with the National Humanities Medal.

After receiving the medal, Elton John said, “I don’t know what to say. ... I don’t know how to take a compliment very well but it’s wonderful to be here amongst so many people who have helped my AIDS foundation and my heroes, that ones that work day to day on the front line.”

Watch video here:

The guest list for the concert at White House included teachers, nurses, frontline workers and LGBTQ advocates, former first lady Laura Bush, civil rights advocate Ruby Bridges and Malala Yousafzai.

“Seamus Heaney once wrote, and I quote, ’Once in a lifetime, the longed-for tidal wave of justice can rise up, and hope and history rhyme. Throughout his incredible career, Sir Elton John has been that tidal wave, a tidal wave to help people rise up and make hope and history rhyme,” Joe Biden said.

Elton John has sold over 300 million records worldwide and played over 4,000 shows in 80 countries. His best-selling single was in 1997- a reworking of “Candle In The Wind” to eulogize Princess Diana- which sold 33 million copies.

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