Tom Hanks, Sting and Lily Tomlin bask at Kennedy Center Honors
By Jeff Mason
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hollywood stars, ballet dancers, and soul singers on Sunday celebrated Kennedy Center Honors winners actor Tom Hanks, singer-songwriter Sting and comedienne Lily Tomlin during Washington's high-profile tribute to excellence in the arts.
Ballerina Patricia McBride and singer Al Green completed the group of artists who sported the prestigious prize on a night of dance and song.
The evening began with a tribute to Green, whose hit tune "Let's Stay Together" drew political as well as artistic attention when President Barack Obama publicly crooned a few of its lines earlier in his presidency.
"I’ve been keeping his traditions alive," the president joked at a White House ceremony.
"He did a great job. He sounded better than me," Green told reporters ahead of the show, which featured spirited performances of his soulful music by singers Usher, Jennifer Hudson, and Earth Wind & Fire.
McBride, who worked for 28 years as a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, watched as some of her protégées glided across the stage in her honor.
"When I hung up the toe shoes I didn't look back, but I went forward. And I remember all my years with joy and wonder," she told reporters before the show.
Hanks represented the top Hollywood draw of the night. Continued...