*President Obama announced 21 new recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Wednesday, including Diana Ross, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan and Cicely Tyson.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is “presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors,” according to its website.
Bruce Springsteen, Ellen DeGeneres, Lorne Michaels, Tom Hanks, Robert Redford and Frank Gehry round out the 2016 recipients.
“The Presidential Medal of Freedom is not just our nation’s highest civilian honor,” noted President Obama. “It’s a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better. From scientists, philanthropists, and public servants to activists, athletes, and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way.”
The awards will be presented on November 22nd at the White House, and the ceremony will be streamed live online.
“I am so honored,” Ellen DeGeneres wrote on Twitter. “Thank you, President Obama.”
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) November 16, 2016