Queen Latifah, Billy Crystal, and Dionne Warwick named as Kennedy Center Honorees

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WASHINGTON — The latest batch of Kennedy Center honorees, featuring comedian Billy Crystal and actor Queen Latifah, will be celebrated on Sunday night at a star-studded event recognizing their lifetime achievements in arts and entertainment.

Opera singer Renée Fleming, music star Barry Gibb, and prolific hitmaker Dionne Warwick will also be honored at the formal gala. Each of them will receive personalized tributes, often including surprise appearances and performances kept secret from the honorees themselves.

When announcing the recipients earlier in the year, Kennedy Center’s president, Deborah F. Rutter, described this year’s honorees as “an extraordinary mix of individuals who have redefined their art forms.”

Crystal, 75, rose to national prominence in the 1970s playing Jodie Dallas, one of the first openly gay characters on American network television, on the sitcom “Soap.” He continued on to have a successful career in movies, appearing in hits such as “When Harry Met Sally… ,” “The Princess Bride,” and “City Slickers.”

Warwick, 82, gained stardom in the 1960s as the muse for songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David, achieving a multi-decade string of hits, both with and without Bacharach.

Fleming, 64, is one of the leading sopranos of her era, with a string of accolades that includes a National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama.

Gibbs, 76, rose to global fame as part of the band The Bee Gees, achieving a nearly unmatched string of hits.

Latifah, 53, became a star at age 19, becoming the first female crossover rap star. Her diverse career includes seven studio albums and starring roles in multiple television shows and movies.

Fleming and Latifah, whose real name is Dana Owens, both share another connection – they both performed at the 2014 Super Bowl.

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