Gloria and Emilio Estefan will be honored with the nation’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The Cuban-American singer and music producer are among the 17 people who will be recognized by President Barack Obama at a Nov. 24 ceremony.
The Estefans, whose love story is the subject of the new jukebox musical “On Your Feet!” now playing on Broadway, are joined by other entertainment honorees including Barbra Streisand, Steven Spielberg, Stephen Sondheim, James Taylor and violinist Itzhak Perlman.
Baseball legends Willie Mays and the late Yogi Berra and politicians Sen. Barbara Milkulski, former Rep. Lee Hamilton and the late Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman elected to Congress, will also be honored.
Other honorees include veterans advocate Bonnie Carroll; NASA mathematician Katherine G. Johnson; and former EPA chief and deputy attorney general William Ruckelshaus, known for refusing to fire the Watergate special prosecutor. Posthumous recipients include Indian tribal advocate Billy Frank Jr. and civil rights advocate Minoru Yasui.
Gloria Estefan and the leads of her “On Your Feet!” musical were at the White House on Monday as First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed stars from the “Great White Way.”
The visit was part of a summit on acting, directing, singing and costume design that drew 40 students from both public arts high schools and after-school arts programs. Music was performed from a handful of Broadway shows.
The Grammy-winning singer, joined by stars Josh Segarra and Ana Villafañe, who play the Estefans on the Broadway show, and the show’s choreographer Sergio Trujillo, taught Obama some of the moves to Estefan’s hit “Conga.”
The performances were taped and will air on the TLC network Thanksgiving Day.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.