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Multiple sources, including the Washington Post, the New York Times and USA Today, have confirmed that the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts have announced this year’s recipients of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors.
Celebrated singer-songwriter Billy Joel, Jazz composer Herbie Hancock and guitar god Carlos Santana will represent the music field as they will be receiving the awards, alongside Academy Award and Emmy-winning actress Shirley MacLaine and opera singer Martina Arroyo on December 15.
In a statement exclusively to USA Today, the American Piano Man stated: "I’m truly honored to be named a Kennedy Center honoree along with the other esteemed artists named this year.”
Hancock, a 14-time Grammy Winner, also released an exclusive statement adding that he was “overwhelmed with emotion and, frankly, speechless when I was told that I was selected as a Kennedy Center Honoree. This is a most coveted award. To realize that my name will be among those whose outstanding work in the performing arts I most admire is very humbling.”
Joel and Hancock will join their fellow honorees for a weekend that will start out with a dinner hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry.
In addition, the weekend will culminate with a pre-honor reception hosted by the President and the First Lady followed by the annual Kennedy Center Honorees ceremony.
CBS will air the special on December 29, 2013.
Previous honorees include Oprah Winfrey, Sir Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Meryl Streep, Tina Turner and the late Ray Charles and Lucile Ball.