Billy Crystal, Queen Latifah, Dionne Warwick Among 46th Kennedy Center Honors Recipients

The ceremony, which will air on Dec. 3, will also recognize Bee Gees member Barry Gibb and singer Renée Fleming

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Actor and comedian Billy Crystal, British singer-songwriter, producer and Bee Gees member Barry Gibb, rapper, singer and actress Queen Latifah and singers Dionne Warwick and Renée Fleming will receive the 46th Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime artistic achievements.

On Dec. 3, the group will be recognized in a star-studded celebration on the Kennedy Center Opera House stage by leading performers from from New York, Hollywood and the arts capitals of the world.

“This year’s slate represents an extraordinary mix of individuals who have redefined their art forms and demonstrated remarkable tenacity and authenticity in becoming an original,” Kennedy Center president Deborah Rutter said in a statement. “Each of them has explored new terrain, stretched artistic boundaries, and most importantly, committed to sharing their gifts with the world.”

The Kennedy Center Honors recognizes artists who have made profound contributions to the cultural life of the nation. Each year, honorees are confirmed by the executive committee of the John F. Kennedy Center’s board of trustees. The honors are not designated by art form or category of artistic achievement.

Crystal said he is “overwhelmed to be part of this fantastic group of artists.”

“I started performing when I was five years old, making my parents and family laugh. Those laughs have carried me my entire life and career. I so wish they could be at the Kennedy Center for this glorious occasion,” he said. “It has been a thrilling lifetime of performing in so many different arenas and my heart is full of gratitude to the Kennedy Center, my wife Janice, my children and grandchildren, our family and friends, and all the amazing people I’ve had the pleasure to work with. And finally, of course, my wonderful fans.”

Fleming said that it is “thrilling to join the company of legendary artists who have received this recognition” and that the award “demonstrates the richness and range of the performing arts in our country, and the Kennedy Center’s celebration is a powerful expression of our culture.”

“Music has defined the arc of my life, giving voice to an introverted child, taking me to places I never dreamed of visiting and people I never dreamed of meeting. Most of all, it has shown me the enormous potential for healing and joy that the arts offer everyone,” she added. “Having looked with awe at the Honorees in that box at the Kennedy Center Opera House, I’m incredibly grateful to think I will be among them.”

Gibb said the honor is “one of the most special moments in my life and something that I will always cherish.”

“When I think back over 50 years to our beginnings in Redcliffe, Queensland, I could never have expected this to happen in my life. Receiving the Kennedy Center Honors is something that everyone hopes might happen one day,” he continued. “I’ve often thought about but never dreamed it could come true. Thank you to all those who made this dream a reality. I wish my brothers were here so that they could’ve shared in this special moment.”

Latifah, who is known as the First Lady of Hip Hop, said she is “humbled to be included in this incredible list of artists.”

“When we started on this journey decades ago, we were often told, ‘No’. No, you won’t be able to leave New Jersey. No, if you rap you can’t sing. No, singers can’t become actresses. No, actors can’t also produce,” she said. “To now be recognized amongst so many multi-hyphenates feels unbelievable, not for just me and my team, but for our community. The work the Kennedy Center does is immeasurable so I’m beyond grateful for this recognition.”

Warwick said that she is “exceptionally happy to be honored by the Kennedy Center.”

“It’s very exciting to be recognized for my contributions to the music industry for the past 60 years,” she added.

Former Kennedy Center honoree Gloria Estefan will return to host the special for a third time, which will air on CBS Television Network and stream on Paramount+.

Paramount+ Premium subscribers will have access to stream live via the live feed of their local CBS affiliate on the service, as well as on demand. Essential-tier subscribers will not have option to stream live, but will have access to on-demand the day after the special airs.

The special is produced by Done+Dusted in association with ROK Productions, represented by Elizabeth Kelly, who will executive produce alongside David Jammy. The show will be directed by Alex Rudzinski.