President Obama let a little secret slip on Monday at the National Medal of Arts and Humanities award ceremony. In the process of bestowing a medal–the highest award bestowed by the US government on American artists, patrons, and critics–to Linda Ronstadt, the president confessed to her that he had nursed a crush on her as a kid. The 11-time Grammy Award and two-time Academy of Country Music award winner took the compliment with a smile and a nod.
Others receiving the medal at this week’s ceremony included choreographer Bill T. Jones, radio host Diane Rehm, and author Maxine Hong Kingston, on whose memoir Obama says he based his own. Said Obama in his presentation speech: “the arts and the humanities aren’t just there to be consumed and enjoyed whenever we have a free moment in our lives. We rely on them constantly. We need them. Like medicine, they help us live.”