Kennedy Center Honors Celebrate Music, Movies, and Broadway

Posted December 5th, 2011 at 2:05 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama and Caroline Kennedy led the 34th annual Kennedy Center Honors celebration Sunday to honor those who have influenced American culture through the arts.

This year's honorees were cellist Yo-Yo Ma, actress Meryl Streep, singer Neil Diamond, jazz great Sonny Rollins, and Broadway singer Barbara Cook.

Caroline Kennedy hosted the program in tribute to her assassinated father, U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

President Obama greeted the honorees at the White House before the official program.

Saturday evening U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hosted a dinner for the honorees, telling them, “You may not know it, but somewhere in a little tiny room in Burma or even in North Korea, someone is desperately trying to hear you or to see you, to experience you. If they are lucky enough to make that connection, it can literally change lives and countries.”

The list of 165 past Kennedy Center honorees includes Aaron Copland, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Bruce Springsteen, Oprah Winfrey, Kirk Douglas, Frank Sinatra, Paul McCartney, and Elizabeth Taylor.