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WATCH: Bruce Springsteen awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Obama

Photo by: Andrew Harnik/AP/Press Association Images

President Barack Obama has awarded Bruce Springsteen with the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony.

The Boss was one of 21 individuals to receive the nation’s highest civilian honour, which is presented to people who have contributed to ‘the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavours’.

Other 2016 recipients cherry-picked by the President himself include Tom Hanks, Michael Jordan, Ellen DeGeneres, Diana Ross, Robert De Niro, Bill and Melinda Gates, Lorne Michaels and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Explaining why Bruce Springsteen was honoured, Obama said: "As a songwriter, a humanitarian, America's rock and roll laureate, and New Jersey's greatest ambassador, Bruce Springsteen is, quite simply, The Boss.

“Through stories about ordinary people, to Vietnam veterans to steel workers, his songs capture the pain and the promise of the American experience. With his legendary E Street Band, Bruce Springsteen leaves everything on stage in epic, live, communal live performances that have rocked audiences for decades.

“With empathy and honesty, he holds up a mirror to who we are, as Americans chasing our dreams, and as human beings trying to do the right thing. There's a place for everyone in Bruce Springsteen's America.”

You can watch footage of Bruce receiving his honour here:


President Obama said of the 21 recipients: "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."

Shortly before the ceremony, Diana Ross’ daughter Tracee Ellis Ross shared a video on Twitter of the inductees taking part in the Mannequin Challenge – a viral internet trend where people remain frozen like mannequins.

Here’s The Boss and co. taking part:

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