US President Joe Biden has awarded numerous artists with the most important cultural award from the American government - including rock star Bruce Springsteen. "The work of our honorees is as diverse as the nation celebrating with them today," Biden said at a ceremony on Tuesday (local time) in the White House.
The 73-year-old musician Springsteen received the "National Medal of Arts". "Springsteen's music celebrates our triumphs, heals our wounds and gives us hope. It captures the unyielding spirit of what it means to be American," the White House statement said.
Designer Vera Wang, actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("Veep", "Seinfeld"), soul singer Gladys Knight and comedian Mindy Kaling ("The Mindy Project") also received awards. Established by the US Congress in the 1980s, the National Medal of Arts has been awarded annually to artists who have made a significant contribution to American culture.
Biden also presented the National Humanities Medal. It was first awarded in 1989 and is particularly aimed at humanities. The award winners included the writer Tara Westover and the author Walter Isaacson. Westover is best known for her autobiography, Liberated: How Education Opened Up the World to Me. In it she describes her childhood in a Mormon family and finally her extraordinary educational path. Among other things, Isaacson wrote a biography about Apple founder Steve Jobs, who died in 2011.
For Biden, it was the first award ceremony in office - the event had previously been canceled due to the corona pandemic. But Biden surprised British pop star Sir Elton John with a "National Humanities Medal" during an appearance in the White House in September.