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  December 4th, 2017       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

With the notable absence of President Donald Trump, the Kennedy Center on Sunday celebrated singers Lionel Richie and Gloria Estefan, rapper LL Cool J, television producer Norman Lear and dancer Carmen de Lavallade with honors for the arts. The Kennedy Center Honors are considered the highest recognition in the country for artists across many fields, and the importance of the annual event is usually underscored by a White House reception with the president and the first lady. Not this year. The White House said in August that Trump and his wife, Melania, would not attend, so that those honored could enjoy the event “without any political distraction.” The White House reception was also canceled after some honorees said they would boycott it. De Lavallade, 86, said she decided she could not attend such an event after Trump said both right- and left-wing extremists were at fault in a white supremacist rally in Virginia where one woman died. “Something in my soul … said no,” she told reporters. Meryl Streep kicked off a tribute to her one-time teacher De Lavallade, an actress and a dancer, who wiped tears from her eyes at the end of a powerful dance and musical performance of an American spiritual with a twist: “She’s Got the Whole World in Her Hands.” You can read more about the event over at Yahoo.com. CBS will broadcast the 40th Kennedy Center Honors show on Dec. 26. No official pictures of Streep’s appearance have been published so far.