Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour made a detour on the White House Friday because the singer carried out for a small viewers that included President Joe Biden throughout an occasion billed as “A Night When Hope and History Rhyme.”

John, who’s scheduled to deliver his tour to Washington, D.C.’s Nationals Park on Saturday evening, carried out a cavalcade of his biggest hits on the White House South Lawn, together with “Tiny Dancer,” “Rocket Man,” “Your Song” and “I’m Still Standing.” The live performance was produced in collaboration with A&E Networks and The History Channel; the 2 networks footed the invoice for the occasion, the White House told CNN.

As Variety notes, President Biden shocked the singer by showing onstage and presenting him with a National Humanities Medal for his work combating the AIDS epidemic, with the outlet including that John appeared “visibly shocked and humbled.”

“The President of the United States awards this National Humanities Medal to Sir Elton John for shifting our souls along with his highly effective voice, one of many defining songbooks of all time,” the White House stated (through Variety). “An enduring icon and advocate with absolute braveness, who discovered objective to problem conference, shatter stigma and advance a easy reality: that everybody deserves to be handled with dignity and respect.”

According to a press launch, A Night When Hope and History Rhyme — an allusion to a Seamus Heaney poem — will “rejoice the unifying and therapeutic energy of music, commend the life and work of Sir Elton John, and honor the on a regular basis history-makers within the viewers, together with academics, nurses, frontline employees, psychological well being advocates, college students, LGBTQ+ advocates and extra.” John spoke about his longtime activism within the struggle towards AIDS, telling the gang he hopes to eradicate the illness by 2030.

“It’s been emotional for me to be acknowledged for the achievements of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Since I based the Foundation at my kitchen desk in Atlanta 30 years in the past, I made a dedication to not go away anybody behind and can proceed on this mission,” John stated in an announcement. “We are striving for a future the place folks of all races, ethnicities, nationalities, sexual orientations, and gender identities have the chance to reside free from AIDS, stigma, injustice and maltreatment – and I’m so grateful recognition likes this brings us a step nearer to creating {that a} actuality.” 

Additionally, in Biden’s memoir, the president wrote about how he used to take heed to John’s music along with his sons Hunter and Beau, CNN studies, and when the latter was hospitalized with mind most cancers, Joe would sing him John’s music.

John beforehand go to the White House in 1998 when then-President Bill Clinton welcomed British Prime Minster Tony Blair.

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