×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Shirley MacLaine, Billy Joel, Carlos Santana Among 2013 Kennedy Center Honorees

Herbie Hancock and opera singer Martina Arroyo also will be honored at December gala

Actress Shirley MacLaine, singer/songwriter Billy Joel, opera singer Martina Arroyo, jazz legend Herbie Hancock and musician/songwriter Carlos Santana will receive this year’s Kennedy Center Honors.

The five will be feted Dec. 8 at a Kennedy Center gala slated to be broadcast Dec. 29 on CBS. As usual, the show will be produced by George Stevens Jr. and son Michael before an audience of political and showbiz titans expected to include President Barack Obama and the first lady.

It will be the 36th year for the event, which caps a weekend of festivities that include a private dinner at the U.S. State Department the previous evening, a White House reception and other functions.  It will be Secretary of State John Kerry’s first outing as host of the Dec. 7 dinner.

KenCen Chairman David M. Rubenstein said this year’s recipients “have spent their lives elevating the cultural vibrancy of our nation and the world.” Of the list’s four musicians, he praised Arroyo’s “glorious soprano voice,” Hancock’s ability to break musical barriers, Joel’s four prolific decades and Santana’s record of transcending genres. He saluted  MacLaine for her “remarkable breadth and range” demonstrated over a nearly 60-year career on stage and screen.

The selection of both Santana and Arroyo drew immediate praise from the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, the org that complained earlier this year that Hispanic artists have been under represented in the annual kudofest. Santana was born in Mexico while Arroyo was raised in Harlem by her Puerto Rican father and African American mother.

“This is a turning point of an expansive movement to bring full integration into an acknowledgment system for the arts,” said Felix Sanchez, chairman and cofounder and of the D.C.-based group.  He called Santana an “iconic musician,” and said Arroyo’s life story “is very important to the Latin American community.”

The Hispanic Foundation’s complaint resulted in a decision by the center last May to revise the process used to choose honorees. Supplementing its existing artists committee, it created a new six-person advisory panel to make recommendations. Members include cellist Yo-Yo Ma and dancer/singer/actress Chita Rivera, two former Honorees.

More Legit

  • CAROL CHANNING HERSCHFELD. Actress Carol Channing

    Remembering Carol Channing: A Master of Channeling the Power of Personality

    There was only one Carol Channing, and her outsize personality was a source of delight to many fans — and imitators. Gerard Alessandrini’s stage spoof “Forbidden Broadway” had many incarnations over the years, including the 1994 edition when an audience member was selected every evening to come onstage and impersonate Carol Channing with the cast. [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Viola Davis, Lin-Manuel Miranda Among Celebrities Remembering Carol Channing

    Viola Davis, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Bernadette Peters are among the slew of celebrities taking to Twitter to pay tribute to late singer, comedienne and actress Carol Channing. Known for her starring roles in Broadway’s “Hello Dolly!” and “Gentleman Prefer Blondes,” the legend of the stage and screen died Tuesday at her home in Rancho Mirage, [...]

  • What the Constitution Means to Me

    Listen: How Things Got Scary in 'What the Constitution Means to Me'

    For a decade, writer-performer Heidi Schreck had wanted to write a play inspired by her experiences as a teen debater. But over the years the show started to develop into something both urgently political and deeply personal — and things got scary. In the Broadway-bound “What the Constitution Means to Me,” Schreck reimagines her speech-and-debate [...]

  • Carol Channing Dead

    Carol Channing, Star of Broadway's 'Hello, Dolly!' and 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,' Dies at 97

    Larger-than-life musical stage personality Carol Channing, who immortalized the characters of Lorelei Lee in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and Dolly Gallagher Levi in “Hello, Dolly!,” has died. She was 97. Channing died Tuesday of natural causes at her home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Her publicist B. Harlan Boll confirmed the news. He wrote, “It is with [...]

  • 'What the Constitution Means to Me'

    'What the Constitution Means to Me' Transfers to Broadway

    “What the Constitution Means to Me,” a buzzy Off-Broadway production that counts Hillary Clinton and Gloria Steinem among its fans, is making the move uptown. The play will come to Broadway this spring for a 12-week limited run at the Helen Hayes Theater. “What the Constitution Means to Me” is one part civics lesson, one [...]

  • Choir Boy review

    Broadway Review: 'Choir Boy'

    Honestly, I was afraid that “Choir Boy” — the sweetly exuberant account of a gifted prep school boy’s coming of age, written by “Moonlight” Oscar winner Tarell Alvin McCraney — would be swallowed up in a Broadway house, after winning us over in an Off Broadway staging in 2013.  But aside from the odd set [...]

  • Jason Robert Brown

    Listen: How Ariana Grande Got Jason Robert Brown to Madison Square Garden

    Broadway composer Jason Robert Brown never expected to find himself performing onstage at Madison Square Garden. But he did — thanks to his pal Ariana Grande. Brown met Grande before she was a superstar, when she was in the 2008 Broadway cast of his teen musical “13.” The two have kept in touch ever since [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content