President Obama awarded the Kennedy Award, one of the highest cultural honors in the United States, to rock band Led Zeppelin on December 2. Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters introduced the band and referred to them as "his teachers." The president remarked in his tribute:
When Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham burst onto the musical scene in the late 1960s, the world never saw it coming […] There was this singer with a mane like a lion and a voice like a banshee, a guitar prodigy who left people's jaws on the floor, a versatile bassist who was equally at home on the keyboards, a drummer who played like his life depended on it […]
We honor LED ZEPPELIN for making us all feel young, and for showing us that some guys who are not completely youthful can still rock.
Also honored at the event was David Letterman, Buddy Guy, Dustin Hoffman and Natalia Makarova.