News / Arts & Entertainment

Billy Joel, Shirley MacLaine Top Kennedy Center Honors List

FILE - Billy Joel poses at a piano in New York, Dec. 12, 2011.
FILE - Billy Joel poses at a piano in New York, Dec. 12, 2011.
Reuters
Pop singer Billy Joel, Oscar-winning actress Shirley MacLaine and jazz composer Herbie Hancock on Thursday were among the annual recipients of this year's Kennedy Center Honors, one of the United States' top cultural awards.
 
Rock guitarist Carlos Santana and opera soprano Martina Arroyo also will be honored at the ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts on Dec. 8 in Washington, D.C.
 
The Kennedy Center Honors, which were created in 1978, recognize the lifetime contributions of performing artists to American culture.
 
Joel, 64, a Grammy-winning singer-songwriter who broke out with 1973's  “Piano Man,” is one of the best-selling pop musicians in the United States. Hancock, 73, is considered an innovative jazz composer and pianist who was an early adopter of synthesizers and made waves with solo works “Cantaloupe Island” and “Watermelon Man.”
 
Santana, 66, is best known as a guitar virtuoso who fused rock and Latin music, while Arroyo, 76, became a mainstay at the world's top opera houses from the 1960s to 1980s.
 
MacLaine, 79, won an Academy Award for her lead role in the 1983 comedy-drama “Terms of Endearment” and was nominated for four other acting Oscars. She also helped break the Hollywood studio's system of contracted movie stars.
 
The honorees will be received by President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama at a White House event prior to the ceremony, which will be broadcast by network CBS on Dec. 29.
 
Kennedy Center Honors recipients are selected by a Kennedy Center committee and come from the fields of music, dance, theater, opera, film and television.
 
The honors have been bestowed on more than 180 performers, including included Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, Meryl Streep, Luciano Pavarotti, Paul McCartney and Willie Nelson.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

"Soul Lounge" host Shawna Renee catches up with soul singer and songwriter Russell Taylor to hear what he’s been up to since winning the VH1 "You Oughta Know" title in 2013. She also convinces him to share a few songs from his album "War of Hearts."