Tom Hanks, Sting and Lily Tomlin to Receive Kennedy Center Honors

Pam WrightLife

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Actor-director Tom Hanks, British singer Sting, comedian Lily Tomlin, R&B singer Al Green and ballerina Patricia McBride are the five recipients of this year's Kennedy Center Honors, the center announced Thursday.

"The Kennedy Center celebrates five extraordinary individuals who have spent their lives elevating the cultural vibrancy of our nation and the world," said Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein.

"Al Green's iconic voice stirs our souls in a style that is all his own; Tom Hanks has a versatility that ranks him among the greatest actors of any generation; one of the world's greatest ballerinas, Patricia McBride continues to carry forward her legacy for future generations; Sting's unique voice and memorable songwriting have entertained audiences for decades; and from the days of her early television and theatrical appearances, Lily Tomlin has made us laugh and continues to amaze us with her acting talent and quick wit," said Rubenstein.

The honorees of this year's gala will be seated with President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, and will "accept the thanks of their peers through performances and tributes."

The awards gala, the 37th annual national celebration of the arts, is scheduled to be held Dec. 7 and recorded for broadcast on CBS on Dec. 30.

According to the Kennedy Center website, the five honorees will be received at the White House prior to the performance and will enjoy a supper dance in the Grand Foyer following the gala evening.

Last year, the Kennedy Center honored Shirley MacLaine, Carlos Santana, Martina Arroyo, Herbie Hancock and Billy Joel.

Pam Wright