Video: Led Zeppelin Honored by President Barack Obama

Yesterday afternoon, before a star-studded evening at the Kennedy Center Honors, Led Zeppelin — along with Buddy Guy, David Letterman, Dustin Hoffman and Natalia Makarova — were honored at the White House by President Barack Obama. Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones each received the prestigious Kennedy Award, considered America's highest award for contribution to culture.

"There was this singer with a mane like a lion and a voice like a banshee," Obama said during a speech honoring the band, "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."

He continued, "It’s been said that a generation of young people survived teenage angst with a pair of headphones and a Zeppelin album, and a generation of parents wondered what that noise was all about."

You can watch the President's full tribute to Led Zeppelin in the video below.

Over the past 20 years, Brad Tolinski, editorial director of Guitar World, Revolver and Guitar Aficionado magazines, has interviewed Jimmy Page more than any other journalist in the world. Those interviews have led to a new book, Light & Shade: Conversations With Jimmy Page, which was published October 23. Get your copy here!

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Josh Hart

Josh Hart is a former web producer and staff writer for Guitar World and Guitar Aficionado magazines (2010–2012). He has since pursued writing fiction under various pseudonyms while exploring the technical underpinnings of journalism, now serving as a senior software engineer for The Seattle Times.