It’s Kennedy Center Honors time for a crop including Queen Latifah, Billy Crystal and Dionne Warwick
Share and Follow


WASHINGTON – The newest group of Kennedy Center honorees, including comedian Billy Crystal and actor Queen Latifah, are being feted Sunday night at a star-studded event commemorating their lifetime achievement in arts and entertainment.

Opera singer Renée Fleming, music star Barry Gibb and prolific hitmaker Dionne Warwick also are being honored at the black-tie gala. Each will receive personalized tributes that typically include appearances and performances that are kept secret from the honorees themselves.

In announcing the recipients earlier this year, the Kennedy Center’s president, Deborah F. Rutter, called this year’s group of inductees “an extraordinary mix of individuals who have redefined their art forms.”

Crystal, 75, came to national prominence in the 1970s playing Jodie Dallas, one of the first openly gay characters on American network television, on the sitcom “Soap.” He went on to a brief but memorable one-year stint on “Saturday Night Live” before starring in a string of movies, including hits such as “When Harry Met Sally… ,” “The Princess Bride” and “City Slickers.”

Crystal, who also received the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for lifetime achievement in comedy in 2007, joins an elite group of comedians cited for both: David Letterman, Steve Martin, Lorne Michaels, Lily Tomlin, Carol Burnett and Neil Simon. Bill Cosby received both honors, but they were rescinded in 2018 following his sexual assault conviction, which later was overturned.

Warwick, 82, shot to stardom in the 1960s as the muse for the superstar songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Her discography includes a multidecade string of hits, both with and without Bacharach, that includes “I Say a Little Prayer,” “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” and “That’s What Friends Are For.”

Fleming, 64, is one of the leading sopranos of her era, with a string of accolades that includes a National Medal of Arts bestowed by President Barack Obama, a Cross of the Order of Merit from the German government and honorary membership in England’s Royal Academy of Music.

Gibb, 76, achieved global fame as part of one of the most successful bands in the history of modern music, the Bee Gees. Along with his late brothers Robin and Maurice, the trio launched a nearly unmatched string of hits that defined a generation of music.

Latifah, 53, has been a star since age 19 when her debut album and hit single “Ladies First” made her the first female crossover rap star. She has gone on to a diverse career that has included seven studio albums, starring roles in multiple television shows and movies and an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress for her role in the movie musical “Chicago.”

Fleming and Latifah, real name Dana Owens, also share an obscure bit of Kennedy Center Honors historical trivia. They both performed at the 2014 Super Bowl. Fleming sang the national anthem while Latifah performed “America the Beautiful.”

Share and Follow
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like
Live: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs bill to make more Epstein documents public

Live: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs bill to make more Epstein documents public

(NewsNation) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law Thursday a bill…
FILE - A person holds drug paraphernalia near the Washington Center building on SW Washington Street, April 4, 2023, in downtown Portland, Ore. On Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, Democratic lawmakers in Oregon unveiled a sweeping new bill that would undo a key part of the state

Oregon considers recriminalizing drugs amid opioid crisis

(NewsNation) — Oregon lawmakers are debating a bill to recriminalize drugs, ending…
Ex-JEA board chair had no idea plan she voted for could net $345M in bonus payouts if utility was sold: testimony

Ex-JEA board chair had no idea plan she voted for could net $345M in bonus payouts if utility was sold: testimony

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Former JEA board members continued to testify on Wednesday…
Climate change, cost and competition for water drive settlement over tribal rights to Colorado River

Climate change, cost and competition for water drive settlement over tribal rights to Colorado River

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – A Native American tribe with one of the largest…
Dozens of North Carolina Republicans compete for congressional seats

Dozens of North Carolina Republicans compete for congressional seats

With five members of North Carolina’s U.S. House delegation declining to run…
FILE - The afternoon sun illuminates the Legislative Building, left, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash, Oct. 9, 2018. The Washington state House has overwhelmingly approved legislation that would ban police from hog-tying suspects, a restraint technique that has long drawn concern due to the risk of suffocation. The vote on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024 came nearly four years after Manuel Ellis, a 33-year-old Black man, died in Tacoma, Washington, facedown with his hands and feet cuffed together behind him. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Washington state House overwhelmingly passes ban on hog-tying by police

SEATTLE (AP) — The Washington state House overwhelmingly approved legislation Wednesday that…
Madeline Soto: Boyfriend of missing Florida teen's mom arrested, named 'prime suspect' in disappearance

Madeline Soto: Boyfriend of missing Florida teen’s mom arrested, named ‘prime suspect’ in disappearance

Authorities in Florida have made an arrest and named a suspect amid…
Justice Arthur Engoron, judge in Donald Trump's civil fraud trial, New York AG receive envelopes with white powder

Justice Arthur Engoron, judge in Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial, New York AG receive envelopes with white powder

NEW YORK — The judge who oversaw former President Donald Trump’s civil…