Bruce Springsteen
Gladys Knight & Bruce Springsteen | Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images & Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

Gladys Knight, Bruce Springsteen to Receive National Medals of Arts from President Joe Biden

Musicians Bruce Springsteen and Gladys Knight are among those set to receive National Medals of Arts from US President Joe Biden this week. Fashion designer Vera Wang, Seinfeld and Veep legend Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and screenwriter/actor Mindy Kaling have also been named as recipients.

“The National Medal of Arts recipients have helped to define and enrich our nation’s cultural legacy through their life long passionate commitment,” Maria Rosario Jackson, Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), said in a White House press release. “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.”

Bruce Springsteen: ‘Born In The USA’

The NEA statement described Springsteen as one of the USA’s “greatest performers and storytellers”. “Bruce Springsteen’s music celebrates our triumphs, heals our wounds, and gives us hope, capturing the unyielding spirit of what it means to be American,” it said.

Regarding Knight, the NEA noted that the singer’s “exceptional talent influenced many musical genres” and inspired generations of artists. Knight led the group Gladys Knight & the Pips throughout the 1950s and again from 1964–1989. They’re best remembered for the 1967 hit single ‘I Heard It Through the Grapevine’, penned by Motown gurus Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong.

Springsteen is no stranger to White House honours, having received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama back in 2016. In 2021, Springsteen and Obama launched the podcast Renegades: Born in the USA, an eight-episode series recorded at Springsteen’s home in Colts Neck Township, New Jersey.

The medals will be presented on Tuesday, 21st March at the White House. If you fancy, you can watch the event on the livestream at 4.30pm ET.

Further Reading

The Stories Behind the Covers on Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Only the Strong Survive’

Bruce Springsteen Says He’ll Never Retire

Motown Legend Barrett Strong Dies Aged 81

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