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Allen Toussaint in Line for White House Honor

The White House will be seeing some more of the rainbow in at least one suit next week. New Orleans producer, musician and showman extraordinaire Allen Toussaint is set to be honored by President Barack Obama next week at the White House as a recipient of the National Medal of Arts.


The honorees, which were announced Wednesday, are set to receive their medals next Wednesday in the East Room of the White House. First Lady Michelle Obama will also attend the ceremony.


From The Meters to Aaron Neville to Ernie K-Doe, Toussaint has been the composer and man behind the boards for a raft of hits like "Mother in Law," "Last Train" and "Working in the Coalmine." The sandal-sporting pianist and Gert Town native has also had a successful solo career in his own right, and has the Rolls Royce to prove it. President Obama will read the following citation in Toussaint's honor at the ceremony:


Allen Toussaint for his contributions as a composer, producer, and performer. Born and raised in New Orleans, Mr. Toussaint has built a legendary career alongside America’s finest musicians, sustaining his city’s rich tradition of rhythm and blues and lifting it to the national stage.


Also Riding Their Pony among this year's recipients is author Ernest Gaines, the Oscar, Louisiana-born author of the acclaimed A Lesson Before Dying.


Toussaint and Gaines will also be joined by Star Wars master George Lucas, playwright Tony Kushner and artist Ellsworth Kelly in receiving awards.

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