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Billy Joel, Shirley MacLaine among artists to be honored by Kennedy Center

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Five artists, including those of the big screen and musical variety, will be 2013 recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced today.

The annual gala will celebrate the excellence and remarkable contributions to arts and culture of actress Shirley MacLaine, opera singer Martina Arroyo, and musicians and composers Herbie Hancock, Billy Joel, and Carlos Santana.

The recipients are chosen by the Executive Committee of the Center’s Board of Trustees, which changed their selection procedure this year to include recommendations from the public and an advisory committee of artists, past Honorees, and Kennedy Center board members.

“Martina Arroyo has dazzled the world with her glorious soprano voice and continues to share her artistry with a new generation of opera singers; Herbie Hancock has established himself as one of the most innovative musicians in the world, constantly breaking musical barriers and redefining the art of jazz; Billy Joel’s melodies have provided the soundtrack of our lives for over four decades making him one pop music’s most prolific and memorable singers and songwriters; the remarkable breadth and range of Shirley MacLaine’s acting has left an indelible impression over a nearly 60-year career on stage and screen; from his legendary performance at Woodstock to his sweep at the 2000 Grammys and beyond, Carlos Santana’s artistry transcends genres while entertaining millions,” said Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein in a press release.

The Honors Gala will take place on Dec. 8 at Kennedy Center Opera House stage, where the honorees will be seated with the President of the United States and Mrs. Obama. It will be broadcast Dec. 29, 2013 at 9:00-11:00 p.m., ET/PT, on CBS.