News / Arts & Entertainment

Five Artists Receive Kennedy Center Honors

Recipients of the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors, from left; Shirley MacLaine, Billy Joel and Herbie Hancock, laugh during a reception honoring the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors recipients, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013.
Recipients of the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors, from left; Shirley MacLaine, Billy Joel and Herbie Hancock, laugh during a reception honoring the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors recipients, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013.
VOA News
An actress, an opera singer, two musicians, and one singer/musician have received the 36th annual Kennedy Centers Honors for lifetime achievement.

Shirley MacLaine, Martina Arroyo, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, and Billy Joel were honored Sunday at the event. President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama attended the celebration along with a slew of politicians and Hollywood glitterati.

The show will be broadcast on CBS on December 29.

Shirley MacLaine, whose stage and screen career spans six decades, has won an Oscar, an Emmy, and four Golden Globes.

Martina Arroyo discovered opera as a teenager growing up in Harlem and has performed in opera houses around the world.

Carlos Santana, a Mexican immigrant, has been playing the guitar since the 1960s and is known for his epic performance at Woodstock in 1969. In 2000, his album Supernatural won nine Grammys, including Album of the Year and Song of the Year.

  • Kennedy Center Honoree Carlos Santana and his wife Cindy Blackman arrive for the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, Dec. 8, 2013.
  • Herbie Hancock spots someone in the audience below at the start of the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors at the Kennedy Center in Washington, Dec. 8, 2013.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama applaud the national anthem as they arrive in their box for the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors at the Kennedy Center in Washington, Dec. 8, 2013.
  • Kennedy Center Honoree Billy Joel and girlfriend Alexis Roderick arrive for the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, Dec. 8, 2013.
  • Carlos Santana and fellow 2013 Kennedy Center Honors recipient Shirley MacLaine react to remarks by U.S. President Barack Obama during a reception at the White House, Dec. 8, 2013.
  • Opera singer Martina Arroyo is escorted as she arrives with fellow 2013 Kennedy Center honorees for a reception at the White House, Dec. 8, 2013.

Jazz musician Herbie Hancock, the winner of an Oscar and 14 Grammys, played a Mozart piano concert with the Chicago Symphony when he was 11. He is known for his funk and jazz fusion compositions.

Billy Joel is the piano man who has been serenading the public since the 1970s. A 6-time Grammy winner, Joel is one of the best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide. He has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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