Hollywood stars, music legends and U.S. political leaders turned out for a celebrity gala to recognize contributions to American culture from some of the world's top artists.
Politics was put to one side for the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington Sunday night. Singer Barbra Streisand - an ardent Democrat - exchanged an awkward kiss with U.S. President George Bush at a White House dinner before the awards ceremony.
Streisand, actor Morgan Freeman, country singer George Jones, dancer Twyla Tharp and musicians Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey of "The Who" all received lifetime achievement awards.
The honors were set up as a living memorial to the late President John F. Kennedy.
The award recipients were not required to perform at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts - instead other artists put on a show for them, with musical performances from Idina Menzel, Beyonce, Rob Thomas and Foo Fighters front man Dave Grohl.
Actors Denzel Washington and Clint Eastwood spoke of their admiration for Freeman.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.