Carlos Santana, Billy Joel Lead 2013 Kennedy Center Honorees

Carlos Santana and Billy Joel lead this year’s honorees at the 36th Annual Kennedy Center Honors Ceremony, which highlights artists for their lifetime contributions to American culture. Also honored this year: funk/jazz legend Herbie Hancock, opera singer Martina Arroyo and actress Shirley MacLaine.

The ceremony will take place December 8 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The event will be broadcast on Sunday, December 29 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

The annual event always features star-studded tributes to the honorees, who don’t participate in the ceremony but watch from the balcony along with the President and the First Lady. Music legends are often celebrated at the event: last year’s ceremony honored Led Zeppelin and Buddy Guy with a performances from Heart, Kid Rock, Foo Fighters and Lenny Kravitz covering Zep, and Gary Clark Jr., Tracy Chapman, Jimmie Vaughan, Bonnie Raitt, Jeff Beck and Beth Hart celebrating Guy.

kennedy center honors  Carlos Santana, Billy Joel Lead 2013 Kennedy Center Honorees

Other musicians honored by the Kennedy Center over the years include Paul McCartney, Smokey Robinson, the Who, Dolly Parton, Diana Ross and Elton John.


— Brian Ives, 


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