Elton John performed at a special White House event last night (September 23.) Unbeknownst to him, the event would see him receive a surprise honor from President Joe Biden.

As previously reported, Sir Elton’s performance was part of an event called “A Night When Hope and History Rhyme.” The bipartisan event hosted various activists and other community leaders including teachers, nurses, frontline workers, mental health advocates, students, LGBTQ+ advocates and more.

President Biden awarded John with the National Humanities Medal for his humanitarian work fighting HIV/AIDS. John was visibly moved and genuinely surprised by the honor. He said, in part, “I’m never flabbergasted, but I’m flabbergasted.” He added, “America’s kindness to me, as a musician, is second to none, but in the war against AIDS and HIV, it’s even bigger.”

“A Night When Hope and History Rhyme” is a collaboration between A&E Networks and The History Channel. The event will air at a yet-to-be-determined later date.

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Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.