Watch Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross & More Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

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Diana Ross and others wait before US President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on Nov. 22, 2016. 

President Barack Obama is awarding the nation's highest civilian honor to 21 groundbreaking actors, musicians, athletes and others during a ceremony Tuesday (Nov. 22) at the White House.

Among those getting the Presidential Medal of Freedom: Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross and Robert Redford.

Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, two of the best basketball players ever, are also among the honorees.

Other honorees include philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates, comedian Ellen DeGeneres and broadcaster Vin Scully.

Obama says the people receiving the medal helped push America forward and inspired millions around the world.

The award recognizes especially meritorious contributions to the national interests of the United States, to its culture, or to other significant endeavors.