Article Nov 30, 2016

You are no longer passing

Diana Ross and Bruce Springsteen receive U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom

U.S. leader President Barack Obama had a few superstar guests at the White House on Tuesday (22Nov16) as he awarded America's top civilian honor to Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Hanks, and Robert De Niro, among others.

The quartet were among the 21 recipients of the 2016 Presidential Medal of Freedom, presented during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House.

The honorees, from the worlds of acting, athletics, music, and science, were acknowledged for their contributions to America.

In addition to Ross, Hanks, De Niro, and Springsteen, other A-listers at the special event included comedienne Ellen DeGeneres, actor/director Robert Redford, basketball heroes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan, baseball broadcaster Vin Scully, and computer science billionaire-turned-philanthropist Bill Gates and his wife Melinda.

Although the ceremony went off without a hitch, funnywoman DeGeneres almost didn't make it into the event after misplacing her official identification.

"They haven't let me in to the White House yet because I forgot my ID. #NotJoking #PresidentialMedalOfFreedom," she wrote in an Instagram caption attached to a picture of herself sitting on a bench outside the President's residence hours before the ceremony.

But she wasn't left out in the cold for long - Ellen was granted a special security clearance and admitted into the White House. Once inside, she managed to shoot an all-star Mannequin Challenge video with her fellow Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients.

She posted the footage online and added the caption: "I'm in!"

Meanwhile, R&B icon Diana Ross previously gushed about being one of the honorees on Twitter, writing last week (16Nov16), "Deeply humbled to be selected by Pres Obama @POTUS to receive Medal of Freedom-Americas Highest Civilian Honor. Truly Grateful & Appreciative."