Bruce Springsteen to receive The National Medal of Arts from President Joe Biden

Bruce Springsteen pictured in front of a US flag at the White House in 2016
Bruce Springsteen at the White House in 2016 (Image credit: Chip Somodevilla)

Bruce Springsteen is to be awarded The National Medal of Arts by US President Joe Biden, during a ceremony at the White House today (March 21). The medals are given annually to those considered to have most enriched the US's cultural legacy.  

"We are a better nation because of their contributions," says National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chair Maria Rosario Jackson. "Their work helps us see the world in different ways. It inspires us to reach our full potential and recognise our common humanity. I join the President in congratulating and thanking them."

The statement from the NEA describes Springsteen as "One of our greatest performers and storytellers," before going on to say, "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."

Other recipients of this year's medals include soul singer Gladys Knight, Puerto Rican musician José Feliciano, and Seinfeld/Veep actor Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The ceremony will take place at 4:30 p.m. ET in the East Room at the White House, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden also in attendance. A livestream of the event will be available on the White House website

It's not the first time The Boss has been honoured by US Presidents. In 2009 he was a Kennedy Center Honors recipient, picking up the award from then-US President Barack Obama, and seven years later the same man awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. 

In 2020, Springsteen narrated a 60-second commercial entitled Hometown in support of Joe Biden's presidential candidacy, and his 2012 song We Take Care of Our Own was played at Biden rallies. Springsteen also played a part in Biden and Kamala Harris’s inauguration, performing of Land of Hope and Dreams at the Lincoln Memorial. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.