Kennedy Center honors Santana, Shirley MacLaine, Billy Joel, others

Arts & Entertainment -

Jazz musician Herbie Hancock and opera singer Martina Arroyo were also honored with the annual award given to performers.

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Copyright 2014 Reuters
Copyright 2014 Reuters
After a reception at the White House earlier in the day, the 36th annual Kennedy Center Honors were held the night of Dec. 8. Martina Arroyo, Shirley MacLaine, Billy Joel, Carlos Santana and Herbie Hancock were honored by the center, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Copyright 2014 Reuters

After a reception at the White House earlier in the day, the 36th annual Kennedy Center Honors were held the night of Dec. 8. Martina Arroyo, Shirley MacLaine, Billy Joel, Carlos Santana and Herbie Hancock were honored by the center, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

"Despite all their success, all their fame, they're remained true to themselves. Their triumphs have lifted our spirits and lifted our nation and left us a better and richer place. And for that we are grateful." President Barack Obama

Among the many celebrities who spoke at the gala was Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who became the first justice to appear on stage at the event. She honored her friend Arroyo.

MacLaine joined her brother Warren Beatty as an honoree. They became the first brother and sister to receive the award. Copyright 2014 Reuters

MacLaine joined her brother Warren Beatty as an honoree. They became the first brother and sister to receive the award.

Glenn Close hosted the gala in place of regular host, Caroline Kennedy, who is now the U.S. Ambassador to Japan. There were a number of performances of the honoree's work, including a rap tribute to Herbie Hancock by Snoop Dogg. The gala will be broadcast on Dec. 29. Copyright 2014 Reuters

Glenn Close hosted the gala in place of regular host, Caroline Kennedy, who is now the U.S. Ambassador to Japan. There were a number of performances of the honoree's work, including a rap tribute to Herbie Hancock by Snoop Dogg. The gala will be broadcast on Dec. 29.

Sting, Tom Hanks, Lily Tomlin, Al Green and Patricia McBride were named the 2014 Kennedy Center Honorees by the Kennedy Center on Sept. 4. CC BY-ND WikiCommons

Sting, Tom Hanks, Lily Tomlin, Al Green and Patricia McBride were named the 2014 Kennedy Center Honorees by the Kennedy Center on Sept. 4.

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