Renée Fleming awarded National Medal of Arts

'The people's diva' visited the White House yesterday to receive the prestigious award from President Obama.

Renée Fleming and President Obama

Soprano Renée Fleming has been awarded the 2012 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal for her contributions to American music. President Obama awarded the honour yesterday in a ceremony at the White House.

A White House Statement praised the Grammy Award-winning singer's contribution to a variety of musical genres, describing her as 'the people's diva'. "Ms Fleming has captivated audiences around the world with an adventurous repertoire spanning opera and the classical tradition to jazz and contemporary pop,” the citation reads.

The National Medal of Arts was established in 1985 and is the highest award presented to artists and art patrons by the US government.The 12 recipients this year include playwright Tony Kushner, Star Wars creator George Lucas, musician Allen Toussaint and author Elaine May.

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