Biden celebrates Betty Midler and Jonny Mitchell at the Kennedy Center Honor Award Reuters

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© Reuters. U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Brinken and his wife Evan Ryan and Kennedy Center winners opera bass baritone Justino Diaz, Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels, singer-songwriter Jonny Mitchell, actress and singer-songwriter Betty Midler took a group photo,

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Authors: Jeff Mason and Trevor Hennicart

Washington (Reuters)-President Joe Biden celebrated artists including Betty Midler, Jonny Mitchell, and Lorne Michaels at the Kennedy Center Honors Ceremony on Sunday. Attend the annual event skipped by Republican Donald Trump.

Singer Justino Díaz and Motown founder Berry Gordy (Berry Gordy) in a performance this year upended by the restrictions of politics and the COVID-19 pandemic, Exclude the group of artists selected by the Kennedy Center.

Biden said at the black tie reception held at the White House: “To all the past and present Kennedy Center winners, thank you for sharing your gifts with the country and…with the world.”

Trump has not held such a reception during his four years in office, nor has he participated in a performance at the Kennedy Center.

The art world is basically not opposed to this kind of absence. Singer and actor Cher, the 2018 winner and an outspoken Trump critic, said that if Trump comes, she will have to accept the award in the bathroom.

Biden, his wife Jill, Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Enhoff all attended the ceremony. Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts also attended the ceremony.

Comedian David Letterman said at the beginning of the show: “It’s great to see the presidential box occupied again, great.” The crowd stood and applauded.

The award aims to recognize life-long achievements in the performing arts. Due to the pandemic, the show was not held in 2020. Instead, last year’s winners were celebrated at a scaled-down event earlier this year.

Visitors on Sunday must provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

Midler is a singer and actor who has won Grammys, Emmys, Tonys, and Golden Globes during his decades of career, and has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide. Actresses Goldie Han, Scarlett Johansson and Barbara Hirsch paid tribute to her at the event. “Nothing can stop Betty,” Horn said.

Midler told reporters about the reception on the way into the Kennedy Center. “This is sacred in the White House,” she said. “Very clean. Lovely. Great staff. The food is great. The wine is a bit sweet.”

‘I think I’m dreaming’

Singer and songwriter Mitchell is Canadian. He is famous for songs such as “Both Sides, Now” and “Big Yellow Taxi”. He is a multiple Grammy Award winner and an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The show started with performances of her song “The Circle Game” and Norah Jones’ “A Case of You” and a high-key interpretation of Brandi Carlisle’s “River”.

Michaels is also Canadian. He is the creator and executive producer of NBC’s long-running skit comedy show “Saturday Night Live”.

Biden pointed out that over the years, SNL has played him in seven comics.

Biden said in a speech at the White House: “If you can’t laugh at yourself, we are in trouble. You make me laugh at myself often.” He was referring to Michaels. Current and former SNL actors praised and grilled the producer during the show, and singer Paul Simon sang “America”.

Diaz, a bass baritone opera singer from Puerto Rico, celebrated with performances of “Carmen” and “Faust”.

“It’s like going home again,” Diaz told reporters as he entered the Kennedy Center. “Except for the different parts of the house: I will sit in a very comfortable chair and I don’t have to sing.”

Gordy is a songwriter and record producer in Detroit. He founded Motown Records, which became synonymous with jazz and blues-influenced music, which was deeply influenced by Diana Ross, Steve Wander, and Marvin. Welcomed by black artists such as Guy and Lionel Ritchie, who helped shape their careers.

Wonder sang and performed on the stage of the Kennedy Center, including “You are the sunshine in my life” and “Superstition”. Smokey Robinson also sang and paid tribute to his friends.

“I think I’m dreaming… this is a wonderful dream,” Gordy told reporters.

The Kennedy Center Honor Award will be broadcast on the CBS TV network on December 22.

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