HEAR Elton John ‘ambushed’ by Joe Biden with medal after White House gig
Written by badouv on 25 Σεπτεμβρίου, 2022
British music superstar Elton John was ‘ambushed’ on stage at the White House Friday, when US
President Joe Biden surprised him by awarding the National Humanities Medal.
A visibly shocked and emotional Sir Elton heard Biden describe him as a “tidal wave” who helped people rise up for justice.
Sir Elton had just finished a farewell gig to honour everyday “heroes” like teachers, nurses and AIDS activists when the medal was presented.
John seemed almost overcome by the accolades, telling the audience of 2,000 people: “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.”
He said he’d played some beautiful venues before, but the stage in front of the White House, beneath a massive open-air tent on a perfect autumn night, was “probably the icing on the cake.”
He kicked off the show with “Your Song,” his first big international hit.
The intimate guest list included teachers, nurses, frontline workers and LGBTQ advocates, plus former first lady Laura Bush, civil rights advocate Ruby Bridges, education activist Malala Yousafzai and Jeanne White-Ginder, an AIDS activist and mother of Ryan White, who died from AIDS-related complications in 1990.
Biden and first lady Jill Biden talked about the British singer’s activism, the power of his music and his all-around goodness. The event was dreamed up and paid for by A+E and the History Channel.
“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,” Biden said. “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.”
The night, in fact, was called “A Night When Hope and History Rhyme,” a reference to the poem Biden quoted by Ireland’s Heaney.
Sir Elton, who was knighted in 1998 by Queen Elizabeth II, has sold more than 300 million records worldwide, played over 4,000 shows in 80 countries and recorded one of the best-selling singles of all time, his 1997 reworking of “Candle In The Wind” to eulogiee Princess Diana, which sold 33 million copies.