Gladys Knight Image Credit: ShutterStock

Gladys Knight, Mindy Kaling Awarded Medal of Arts By Joe Biden

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Gladys Knight and Mindy Kaling were among 22 artists, singers, authors and humanitarians to be presented with the National Medal of Arts by President Joe Biden.

The National Medal of Arts is the country’s highest award for artists and their patrons.

For Knight, it’s been an incredible few months. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and seven-time Grammy winner was recently honored at the 45th Kennedy Center Honors for her lifetime of artistic achievements. During Tuesday’s ceremony, Knight was recognized as an “exceptional talent” who “influenced musical genres—from rhythm and blues to gospel to pop—and inspired generations of artists, captivated by her soundtrack of a golden age in American music.”

Biden recognized Kaling for her “work across television, film, and books.”

“You do make the country better, you make it a better place,” Biden told the honorees at the ceremony, per the Associated Press.

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, Ph.D., said, “The National Medal of Arts recipients have helped to define and enrich our nation’s cultural legacy through their lifelong passionate commitment. We are a better nation because of their contributions. Their work helps us see the world in different ways. It inspires us to reach our full potential and recognize our common humanity. I join the President in congratulating and thanking them.”

Here is the complete list of winners:

National Medal of Arts

  • Judith Francisca Baca, artist
  • Fred Eychaner, philanthropist
  • Jose Feliciano, musician
  • Mindy Kaling, actor
  • Gladys Knight, musician
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, actor
  • Antonio Martorell-Cardona, painter
  • Joan Shigekawa, producer and arts administrator
  • Bruce Springsteen, musician
  • Vera Wang, designer
  • The Billie Holiday Theatre
  • The International Association of Blacks in Dance

National Humanities Medal

  • Richard Blanco, writer
  • Johnnetta Betsch Cole, anthropologist
  • Walter Isaacson, writer
  • Earl Lewis, historian
  • Henrietta Mann, Native American academic
  • Ann Patchett, writer
  • Bryan Stevenson, lawyer and activist
  • Amy Tan, writer
  • Tara Westover, writer
  • Colson Whitehead, writer
  • Native America Calling, radio show
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