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Queen Latifah and Billy Crystal are among the 2023 Kennedy Center honorees

Dionne Warwick (from left), Barry Gibb, Queen Latifah, Billy Crystal and Renée Fleming will be honored by the Kennedy Center for their lifetime achievements.
The Kennedy Center
Dionne Warwick (from left), Barry Gibb, Queen Latifah, Billy Crystal and Renée Fleming will be honored by the Kennedy Center for their lifetime achievements.

The recipients of the 46th Kennedy Center Honors have been announced.

The award for lifetime artistic achievement will recognize actor and comedian Billy Crystal; celebrated soprano Renée Fleming; singer-songwriter and Bee Gees band member Barry Gibb; actress, singer and rapper Queen Latifah; and singer Dionne Warwick.

Queen Latifah said she was beyond grateful for the recognition. "When we started on this journey decades ago, we were often told 'No.' No, you won't be able to leave New Jersey. No, if you rap you can't sing. No, singers can't become actresses. No, actors can't also produce," she said in a statement. "To now be recognized amongst so many multi-hyphenates feels unbelievable, not for just me and my team, but for our community."

Queen Latifah performs at the 2014 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition.
Imeh Akpanudosen / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Queen Latifah performs at the 2014 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition.

Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter said in a statement that the honorees each "explored new terrain, stretched artistic boundaries, and most importantly, committed to sharing their gifts with the world."

She added that it was a privilege to honor Queen Latifah — "the First Lady of Hip Hop" — this year, 50 years since the birth of the uniquely American culture art form.

Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein wrote that Billy Crystal is "responsible for some of the most memorable stand-up moments and hilarious Hollywood scenes in the last half-century," and Barry Gibb "set the music world on fire in the 60s and defined the modern dance era." Renée Fleming had a luminous voice and "a knack for bringing opera into the mainstream," and Dionne Warwick recorded "a trove of hits that has become a soundtrack of inspiration for generations of artists and audiences."

The awards take place on Dec. 3. At a later date, it will air on CBS and stream on Paramount+. They will be hosted by singer and 2017 honoree Gloria Estefan. This will be her third time hosting.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: June 22, 2023 at 11:00 PM CDT
A previous version of this story incorrectly said that Dionne Warwick wrote many of her songs. In fact, she's known primarily as a recording artist. In addition, the Kennedy Center said the awards ceremony would be broadcast live on CBS and Paramount+. The organization now says they will be broadcast "at a later date."
Tilda Wilson