Dave Grohl, Gloria Estefan Bestowed with James Smithson Bicentennial Medals

Dave Grohl, Susan Tedeschi and Gloria and Emilio Estefan have received a distinguished honor from the Smithsonian Institute.

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All four artists were presented with the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal on Thursday (Dec. 8), for their respective contributions to music and the arts during a ceremony at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. The award was established in 1965 and is named after James Smithson, the founding donor of the Smithsonian Institute. The medal is given to “persons who have made distinguished contributions to the advancement of areas of interest to the Smithsonia,” according to the Smithsonian’s website.

As a drummer for Nirvana and co-founder and frontman of the Foo Fighters, Grohl has won multiple Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of both bands in 2014 and 2021, respectively. In addition to the Bicentennial Medal, the Estefans, who are husband and wife, have received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Gloria is also the second best-selling Latin artist of all time. In 2010, Tedeschi and her husband Derek Trucks co-founded the Tedeschi Trucks Band which has won several awards, including a Grammy Award in 2012 for Best Blues Album.

“A true dream come true! I am honored and blessed!” Gloria shares on social media. “Thank you to everyone for all the years of love and support!”

“What an honor today to be presented with this medal and to have a part of our history as a part of the exhibit at the @smithsonian American History,” Emilio wrote on Instagram, adding in another post that shows he and his wife standing onstage, “what a proud moment!”

“It’s such an incredible honor to be given the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal and be part of this community,” Tedeschi said upon accepting the Medal, according to a press release. “Don’t let people tell you that you can’t do what your dreams are because you can. I started playing guitar just to prove the point that women can play guitar.”  

Past recipients of the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal include Jerry Lee Lewis, Betty White and Clint Eastwood.

Photo: Courtesy of the National Museum of American History

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