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Carlos Santana, Billy Joel, Shirley MacLaine feted at Kennedy Center Honors

By April Neale Dec 9, 2013, 9:56 GMT

Carlos Santana, Billy Joel, Shirley MacLaine feted at Kennedy Center Honors

Carlos Santana - Tinley Park, IL USA Evan J. Thomas / PR Photos

Stars came out tonight for a special celebration at the Kennedy Center. Luminaries of jazz and opera, rok and more were lauded by the president.

Singer songwriter Billy Joel, actress Shirley MacLaine and guitarist Carlos Santana were celebrated on Sunday at the Kennedy Center Honors, the capital's annual celebration of the arts.

Jazz pianist Herbie Hancock and opera singer Martina Arroyo rounded out the list of honorees at the country's prestigious awards ceremony for stars of the stage, screen and concert hall.

"The diverse group of extraordinary individuals we honor today haven't just proven themselves to be the best of the best," President Barack Obama said at a White House ceremony before the show, according to Reuters.

"Despite all their success, all their fame, they've remained true to themselves - and inspired the rest of us to do the same."

The theme continued when Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic member of the nation's highest court, introduced opera diva Arroyo. The daughter of a Puerto Rican father and an African-American mother, Arroyo grew up in New York City's Harlem neighborhood.

"Martina faced an uphill battle," Sotomayor said. "She never gave up."

Even Snoop Dogg did a rap tribute to Hancock, the keyboardist and band leader who hails from the Obamas' home state of Illinois.

"Hey, Herbie, you know we love you, baby," the rapper shouted. "Thank you for creating Hip Hop!"

MacLaine, who took the Oscar for her performance in the tearjerker 1983 film "Terms of Endearment," was the sole actor in a night of musicians, reported Reuters.

"Ask me how my feet are, and ask me how my back is, and ask me where my martini is," she joked on Saturday at a State Department reception for the honorees.

The show, which was recorded on Sunday, will be broadcast on CBS on December 29.


Further Reading on M&C

Billy Joel Biography - - Billy Joel Movies -
Santana Biography - - Santana Movies -
Shirley MacLaine Biography - - Shirley MacLaine Movies -


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