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Obama to award Presidential Medal of Freedom to Gloria and Emilio Estefan

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@PatriciaMazzei

President Barack Obama plans to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, to Gloria and Emilio Estefan, a source told the Miami Herald on Monday.

The Cuban-American power couple from Miami will be among the17  medal recipients named by the White House on Monday afternoon, along with other luminaries such as the late baseball player and manager Yogi Berra, theater composer Stephen Sondheim and film director Steven Spielberg. Obama will present the medals Nov. 24 at the White House.

Singer Gloria Estefan will be recognized as an artist "who introduced Latin music to a global audience." Her husband, music producer Emilio Estefan, will be recognized for having "influenced a generation of artists" and "helped popularize Latin music around the world."

A publicist for the couple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Estefans have been involved in politics for years. They hosted a fundraiser with Obama at their Miami Beach home in 2010 -- while maintaining that their interest in politics is nonpartisan -- and Gloria Estefan asked Obama questions for a Univision program in 2009. Earlier that year, Obama had named Emilio Estefan to a commission to study the creation of a national Latino museum.

The 17 recipients are: Yogi Berra (posthumous), Bonnie CarrollShirley Chisholm (posthumous), Emilio EstefanGloria Estefan, Billy Frank, Jr. (posthumous), Lee HamiltonKatherine G. JohnsonWillie Mays, Barbara Mikulski, Itzhak Perlman, William RuckelshausStephen SondheimSteven SpielbergBarbra StreisandJames Taylor and Minoru Yasui (posthumous).

Photo courtesy HBO

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