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