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June Wed 06, 2012
Barack Obama welcomed Bob Dylan to the White House. The legendary American musician and songwriter received what is considered the highest honor the American government can give, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It recognizes those individuals who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors".It is not the first time that Bob Dylan has received a similar accolade. Bill Clinton gave him the John F Kennedy prize, another important distinction. This time, however, the president of the United States himself, who has repeatedly said he was big fan of Dylan, defined him as “the biggest giant in the history of American music”. In his words during the conferment of the award, he also called Dylan “a modern-day troubadour who has established himself as one of the most influential musicians of the twentieth century”. “This is because the poetry of his lyrics opened new possibilities for popular song and inspired generations”.During all this, Bob Dylan remained impassive as usual, hidden behind his pair of perfect rock star sunglasses, despite his fancy dress complete with bow tie. Distant and apparently not affected by what was happening around him, he simply gave Obama’s arm a light pat when receiving his award. Bob Dylan, who only days ago, turned 71, is still touring the world. His career began exactly 50 years ago: in 1962 he released his first album simply entitled with his name and surname. He went on to release numerous albums and to becomes one of the most beloved rock musicians, widely considered one of the best songwriters ever.In addition to the rock musician, the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Toni Morrison, the former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former astronaut John Glenn and former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens also received this honor, as well as the former Israeli president Shimon Peres, who was absent from the ceremony.Watch the video of Bob Dylan receiving the award from President Obama on the next page.
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