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Biden hosts 2023 Kennedy Center honorees at White House

President Biden welcomed the 2023 Kennedy Center honorees at the White House on Sunday. 

The Kennedy Center honors a select group of people every year for their artistic influences on American culture. This year’s honorees are Billy Crystal, Renée Fleming, Barry Gibb, Queen Latifah, and Dionne Warwick. 

CBS will air The 46th Annual Kennedy Center Honors on Wednesday, Dec. 27.  

At Sunday’s reception, Biden spoke on the importance of the performing arts. 

“Performing arts is more than just sound,” he said. “They reflect who we are as Americans. And as human beings. That’s especially true for more than 200 Kennedy Center Honorees over the past 46 years for helps shape, how we see ourselves, how we see each other, and how we see our world honors not just based on the length of the career, the scope of the work of heightened fame, but because of their unique place in the conscience, and the very soul of our dynamic and diverse nation.”

The president listed the lengthy accomplishments of each honoree, calling Crystal someone who “makes everyone stop and laugh,” and said that Fleming has a voice of “pure gold,” noting that she performed at a private mass for his family before his inauguration. 

Biden also praised the music and family bond shared by the Bee Gees, represented by Gibb, the last surviving member of the trio of brothers, and called rapper Queen Latifah a “natural storyteller” and one of several Black artists “using their art to break down barriers.”

Finally, he spoke of Warwick’s accomplishments as a singer, highlighting her impressive career and the numerous awards she’s won over the years.

“Her voice and heart make us feel something deep within ourselves,” he said. 

Below are photos from this year’s 46th Kennedy Center Honors gala:

Kennedy Center Honors Event
President Biden speaks during the Kennedy Center Honors Event at the White House in Washington, D.C., United States on December 3, 2023.

Celal Gunes/Anadolu via Getty Images


President Biden And First Lady Host The Kennedy Center Honorees At The White House
Dionne Warwick and President Biden at the Kennedy Center honorees reception at the White House on December 03, 2023, in Washington, D.C. 

Getty Images


US-ENTERTAINMENT-KENNEDY CENTER HONORS
Rapper/actress Queen Latifah attends the 46th Kennedy Center Honors gala at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., on December 3, 2023.

KENT NISHIMURA/AFP via Getty Images


US-ENTERTAINMENT-KENNEDY CENTER HONORS
Opera soprano Renee Fleming attends the 46th Kennedy Center Honors gala at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., on December 3, 2023.

KENT NISHIMURA/AFP via Getty Images


Billy Crystal attends the 46th Kennedy Center Honors at The Kennedy Center on December 03, 2023 in Washington, D.C.

Getty Images


US-ENTERTAINMENT-KENNEDY CENTER HONORS
Dionne Warwick attends the 46th Kennedy Center Honors gala at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., on December 3, 2023.

KENT NISHIMURA/AFP via Getty Images


46th Kennedy Center Honors
Nancy Pelosi attends the 46th Kennedy Center Honors at The Kennedy Center on December 03, 2023 in Washington, D.C.

Getty Images


46th Kennedy Center Honors
Amy Grant attends the 46th Kennedy Center Honors at The Kennedy Center on December 03, 2023 in Washington, D.C.

Getty Images


46th Kennedy Center Honors
 Herbie Hancock attends the 46th Kennedy Center Honors at The Kennedy Center on December 3, 2023 in Washington, D.C.

/ Getty Images


46th Kennedy Center Honors
Kerry Washington attends the 46th Kennedy Center Honors at The Kennedy Center on December 03, 2023 in Washington, D.C.

Getty Images


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