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45th Annual Kennedy Center Honors brings together entertainers and politicians

Kennedy Center Honors entertainers at Washington event
Kennedy Center Honors entertainers at Washington event 02:10

BALTIMORE -- The 45th Annual Kennedy Center Honors brought politicians and entertainers together Sunday night in Washington.

The group consisted mostly of musician honorees, featuring singer Gladys Knight and the band U2. 

Oscar winner George Clooney also attended the celebration, which honored singer-songwriter Amy Grant and conductor and composer Tania Leon.

"Art has the power to bring us together," Herbie Hancock said.

The Kennedy Center went all out in a show filled with love and humor for the entertainers honored this year.

"I once heard Gladys sing the ABCs and I thought I was in church, true story," LL Cool J said.

The ceremony featured tributes to the empress of soul, Gladys Knight, whose Pips joined Garth Brooks on stage.

Katie Couric described chart-topping star and honoree Grant as someone who "has never lost sight of the things that really matter: faith and family."

Meanwhile, Julia Roberts described honoree Clooney as "profoundly present and attentive to the world around him."

As for honoree Leon, Jason Moran said she "makes the piano come alive. Sounding at times like wind chimes.:

Leon has composed groundbreaking orchestral, ballet, opera and choral works. 

U2, which has had staying power in the music world for four decades, was honored with touching tributes and electric performances.

"Theirs is songs that speak to the most personal and private places in our hearts," Sean Penn said of the Irish rock band.

Also attending last night: Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who made his first public appearance since he was attacked at their home in October.

You can watch the 45th Annual Kennedy Center Honors on Dec. 28 at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on CBS. 

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