Actress Meryl Streep and crooner Stevie Wonder were among 19 people named Monday by US President Barack Obama to receive the country’s highest civilian honour. Others to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an award for those who make ‘especially meritorious contributions’ to the United States’ security, interests, world peace or the arts, include the composer Stephen Sondheim, author Isabel Allende and journalist Tom Brokaw.

The economist Robert Solow and late dancer and choreographer Alvin Ailey will also be recognized. ‘I look forward to presenting these 19 bold, inspiring Americans with our nation’s highest civilian honor,’ Obama said in a statement. ‘From activists who fought for change to artists who explored the furthest reaches of our imagination; from scientists who kept America on the cutting edge to public servants who help write new chapters in our American story, these citizens have made extraordinary contributions to our country and the world.’ The awards will be presented November 24 at the White House.