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Joel, Santana, MacLaine, Hancock: Kennedy Center Honors

Billy Joel
Singer Billy Joel will receive a Kennedy Center Honor on Dec. 8. Yesterday on the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, he rode with members of the Fire Department of New York. Photographer: John Moore/Getty Images

Carlos Santana and Shirley MacLaine are among those receiving Kennedy Center Honors, spokesman John Dow said today.

Other honorees for lifetime achievement in the performing arts include Billy Joel, Herbie Hancock and opera singer Martina Arroyo. The awards will be celebrated with performances during a gala Dec. 8 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. It will be broadcast Dec. 29 on CBS.

Arroyo, a New York native, was one of the Metropolitan Opera’s leading sopranos in the 1960s and ’70. MacLaine won an Oscar for “Terms of Endearment.” Piano man Joel and lead guitarist Santana have 16 Grammys between them (6 and 10).

Rounding out the music-heavy slate, keyboard master and composer Hancock has won an Oscar and 14 Grammy awards.

For the first time the selection process included more than 25,000 nominations submitted online by the public.

The Kennedy Center will honor comedienne Carol Burnett with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on Oct. 20, with Tony Bennett, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler expected.

Other celebrities anchoring benefits for Washington’s cultural nonprofits include “Downton Abbey” star Elizabeth McGovern, who will be honored at an Oct. 6 gala for the Shakespeare Theatre Company. Alec Baldwin is co-chairman of “Some Enlightened Evening,” an Oct. 17 gala for the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

Muse highlights include Craig Seligman on new Thomas Pynchon book, Patrick Cole on musician Shakey Graves

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