Legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan was one of thirteen Americans to receive the 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom this afternoon, but he was the only one of them donning sunglasses, The Guardian reported.
President Obama praised him for redefining “not just what music sounded like, but the message it carried and how it made people feel.” At 71-years-old, Dylan has been recording music for over 50 years, having released 34 studio albums and a rumored upcoming album that is supposed to be released in early fall.
“There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music,” the president said during the ceremony at the White House.
The Medal of Freedom is considered the highest civilian honor that can be awarded, and is given to those who have had a great impact on American life, whether through security or culture or world peace. In those honored this year, there appeared to be an emphasis on figures from the 1960s, with recipients including astronaut John Glenn, civil rights activist Dolores Huerta and John Doar, an attorney representing the government during some of the south’s civil rights cases.