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Bob Dylan was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a White House ceremony Tuesday.
Dylan, astronaut John Glenn and Nobel-prize winning author Toni Morrison were among the thirteen recipients of the medal this year. President Barack Obama personally handed out the medals. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other high-ranking officials attended the ceremony.
"Today, everybody from Bruce Springsteen to U2 owes Bob a debt of gratitude. There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music,” Obama said of Dylan, according to ABC News. “All these years later, he's still chasing that sound, still searching for a little bit of truth. And I have to say that I am a really big fan."
Dylan and Morrison were the only artists honored this year, according to The Daily Beast.
Among the other recipients this year are current Israeli president Shimon Peres, former Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens, and Jan Karski, a member of the Polish underground resistance during Nazi occupation.
According to Executive Order 9586, given in 1963, “The medal may be awarded by the President as provided in this order to any person who has made an especially meritorious contribution to (1) the security or national interests of the United States, or (2) world peace, or (3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”