President Joe Biden presented Gladys Knight with a National Medal of Art on Tuesday (March 21).
The "Empress of Soul," who has won seven Grammy Awards in her storied career, wore a pink sweater, reading glasses, and an up-do haircut to the White House.
The whole room could be heard cheering for Knight as she accepted one of the country's highest honors. See below.
Through their lifelong passionate dedication, the National Medal of Arts recipients have helped to define and enrich our country's cultural legacy, according to National Endowment for the Arts chair Maria Rosario Jackson. "I join the President in congratulating and expressing my gratitude."
Knight was honored for her "exceptional talent," which has "influenced musical genres" ranging from R&B to Gospel and Pop. The 78-year-old is a pioneering voice in the "golden age" of American music dating back to the 1960's, with No. 1 hits including "Midnight Train to Georgia," "That's What Friends Are For," and "I Heard It Through the Grapevine."
One of the greatest singers of all time is said to be the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.
Knight was also honored at the 45th Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime artistic accomplishments in 2022, in which she stated: "It's not enough to give up."
“I’m beyond words to be able to be included among this distinguished group of individuals, past and present.”
"To be honored as a Kennedy Center Honoree is one of my career highlights. I stand here with my supporters, my family, my friends, my team, and my conviction in accepting such a tremendous award."
Below, see how the living legend receives the President's National Medal of Art, as well as her Kennedy Center Honors performance of "Midnight Train to Georgia."