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Updated: February 27, 2010 02:42 IST

Dylan, Eastwood get White House awards

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Bob Dylan AP Photo
Bob Dylan AP Photo

Obama praises their contribution to the national cultural identity.

U.S. President Barack Obama honoured actor and director Clint Eastwood and singer Bob Dylan with arts awards.

The White House called Mr. Dylan “an icon of youthful rebellion and poetic sensitivity” and said Mr. Eastwood's films and performances are “essays in individuality, hard truths and the essence of what it means to be American.”

“Obviously, their careers have helped to mark the landscape of American culture for decades,” said Mr. Obama noting their absence from the East Room ceremony Thursday.

Others who made the evening ceremony, though, were no less important to the nation's cultural identity. Soprano Jessye Norman was recognised for “broadening contemporary operatic repertoire.” Maya Lin earned a medal for her architecture, including the National Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.

And Mr. Obama awarded composer John Williams a medal for music featured in films such as the Star Wars series and the soundtrack to the Olympics.

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