President Joe Biden will present Bruce Springsteen, Gladys Knight and Jose Feliciano with the National Medals of Arts, the nation’s highest award given to artists and their patrons.

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The POTUS will hand out the 2021 honors during a ceremony today (March 21) at the White House from 4:30 p.m., and live streamed at www.whitehouse.gov/live.

“The National Medal of Arts recipients have helped to define and enrich our nation’s cultural legacy through their life long passionate commitment,” comments National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chair Maria Rosario Jackson. “We are a better nation because of their contributions. Their work helps us see the world in different ways. It inspires us to reach our full potential and recognize our common humanity. I join the President in congratulating and thanking them.”

Springsteen, known globally as The Boss, is celebrated as “one of our greatest performers and storytellers,” whose music “celebrates our triumphs, heals our wounds, and gives us hope, capturing the unyielding spirit of what it means to be American.”

Knight, or the “Empress of Soul,” is recognized as an “exceptional talent” who “influenced musical genres—from rhythm and blues to gospel to pop—and inspired generations of artists, captivated by her soundtrack of a golden age in American music.”

Feliciano, known for his bilingual Christmas classic “Feliz Navidad,” which last year celebrated its 50th anniversary and remains one of the top 10-performing hits in the decade-plus history of Billboard‘s Holiday 100 chart, will be honored for opening hearts, building bridges and “overcoming obstacles, never losing faith, and enriching the goodness and greatness of the Nation.”

Born blind in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Feliciano received the first-ever Billboard Legend Award at the 2022 Billboard Latin Music Awards.

Other recipients of National Medals of Arts on this occasion include actor Julia Louis-Dreyfus, designer Vera Wang and The Billie Holiday Theatre.

The 2021 National Humanities Medals will also be presented at the ceremony, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden confirmed to attend.


Lars Brandle
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