Sir Elton John, multiple-Grammy award winning artist and Founder of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and his husband, David Furnish, were hosted by President Joe Biden and the First Lady Dr. Jill Biden as part of the event, “A Night When Hope and History Rhyme” organized in collaboration with The History Channel and A+E Networks.

The President and First Lady honored Sir Elton’s remarkable musical and philanthropic legacy, and celebrated the healing power of music to an audience of everyday history makers including teachers and students, nurses, LGBTQ+ advocates, military families, mental health advocates, and more.

Sir Elton delighting the audience by playing several of his smash hits including “Tiny Dancer,” “Rocketman,” and “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on |Me,” on the White House South Lawn, before the President and First Lady surprised him by presenting him with the National Humanities Medal.

“I’m honored to receive the National Humanities Medal from President Biden and the First Lady during such a spectacular event at the White House,” said Sir Elton John. “It’s been emotional for me to be recognized for the achievements of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Since I founded the Foundation at my kitchen table in Atlanta 30 years ago, I made a commitment not to leave anyone behind and will continue on this mission. We are striving for 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 maltreatment – and I’m so grateful recognition likes this brings us a step closer to making that a reality.”

“It’s on us to make the world a better, more equal place, and Elton is someone who truly walks the walk,” said David Furnish, Chairman of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. “He is so deserving of the National Humanities Medal through his constant advocacy for equality throughout his career and through the Elton John AIDS foundation. We’re so thankful to the History Channel, A+E Networks and the Biden administration for giving us such an impactful platform to help us meet the urgent needs of people at risk of - and living with -HIV and AIDS.”

“It’s so gratifying to see our inspirational founder, Sir Elton John, being honored this evening at the White House. With the support of our partners, we will continue to find innovative ways to bring access, agency, care, and justice to those who need it most,” said, Anne Aslett, CEO of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.