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, Mr. 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.
Here are more photos from this year's 46th Kennedy Center Honors gala:
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