Without Trump, Kennedy Center celebrates Lionel Richie and Gloria Estefan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – 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.

Reuters: Arts


Save anywhere from 35-55% off combined admission prices with the Explorer Pass from Smart Destinations!

Kennedy Honors Recognize Lionel Richie, LL Cool J, Without Trumps

(Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — This year’s Kennedy Center Honors recognizing outstanding artists and performers managed to skip the political drama that loomed over it earlier this year — just ask honoree Norman Lear.

Ahead of Sunday night’s festivities at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the longtime television producer behind “All in the Family” and other hits reacted with mock surprise when reminded that President Donald Trump was not attending.

“Really? Wow!” Lear said as he entered the building. “I’m expecting a warm, funny, wonderful evening. My guess is that the focus tonight will be on the arts.”

The president usually sits with the honorees and other guests. But Lear threatened to boycott the event over his opposition to Trump, and other artists expressed unease with the idea of meeting the president. A showdown was avoided when Trump announced in August that he and first lady Melania Trump would not attend.

Another honoree, rapper and actor LL Cool J, called the evening “an amazing, amazing moment” for a hip-hop artist who officials said was the youngest-ever Kennedy Center Honors recipient at 49.

He said there were many deserving rappers and performers from his generation but would not go so far as to say that anybody deserved the honor over him.


“I’m humble, but I’m not going to play pseudo-humble,” he said before the program. “I’m the one!”

The 40th annual Kennedy Center Honors ceremony also paid tribute to dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade and musicians Lionel Richie and Gloria Estefan.

Honorees each received a lengthy and personally tailored onstage tribute sprinkled with surprise guests.

Estefan was greeted with performances of her greatest hits and a solo performance by her daughter Emily.

For LL Cool J, they recreated a club onstage with performances by Busta Rhymes and members of The Roots as well as a testimonial by Queen Latifah.

For Lear, a series of quick changes transformed the stages into the sets from “Good Times,” ”All in the Family” and “Maude,” with testimonials from Rob Reiner, Dave Chappelle and Anthony Anderson from the current hit show “Black-ish.”

In addition to the Sunday ceremony, this year’s recipients were honored Saturday at a gala State Department dinner. The program was to be televised Dec. 26 on CBS.

In the past, most U.S. presidents have attended the ceremony, but it’s not unprecedented for a sitting president to skip it. Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton all missed ceremonies during their terms in office, but in all previous cases the first lady attended.

Kennedy Center officials didn’t hide their relief when Trump announced he wouldn’t attend. Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter and Chairman David M. Rubenstein released a statement saying they were “grateful” to the Trumps for avoiding a conflict that would overshadow the ceremony.

“In choosing not to participate in this year’s honor’s activities, the administration has graciously signaled its respect for the Kennedy Center and ensures the honors gala remains a deservingly special moment for the honorees,” the statement said.

Like BlackAmericaWeb.com on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram

Share your email below to receive our daily newsletter!

Entertainment – Black America Web


Lionel Richie and Daughter Sofia Richie Make First Red Carpet Appearance Together in 3 Years

Sofia Richie had not been spotted out with famous dad Lionel Richie since she confirmed her romance with Scott Disick in September.

But on Thursday, the father-daughter pair stepped out for their first red carpet appearance together in three years at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Patron of the Artists Awards in Beverly Hills, where he received the Recording Artists Inspiration Award for his philanthropic work.

“You’re gonna kill it tonight!” Sofia, 19, told the Grammy-winning patriarch, 68, in a video shared on her Instagram Story. “So proud of you @lionelrichie .. love you,” she also captioned a selfie of the pair.

The last event Lionel and Sofia were pictured at was the Topshop Topman New York City flagship opening dinner at Grand Central Terminal in November 2014.

RELATED LINK: Watch a 14-Year-Old Sofia Richie Talk Dating with Sister Nicole 4 Years Before Linking Up with Scott Disick

The father-daughter outing comes after Sofia’s recent trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where she enjoyed a getaway with 34-year-old Disick, who has three kids Mason, 7, Penelope, 5, and Reign, 2, with ex Kourtney Kardashian.

“ thinks Scott is the worst person she could ever see and that he raised her better than that,” a source told PEOPLE in October about the American Idol judge’s reaction to his daughter’s relationship.

“He thinks she should have more respect for herself as a young woman. Lionel knows Scott’s playboy ways and he doesn’t want to see his daughter get hurt,” the source said.

Sofia and Disick were first linked as a couple when they were spotted cuddling up aboard a yacht in the south of France during the Cannes Film Festival in May. At the time, Richie — who previously dated Justin Bieber — adamantly denied anything romantic was going on, tweeting that the two were “just homies.”

Then in mid-September, a source told PEOPLE they had become “inseparable.” The pair confirmed their romance via social media later that month, packing on the PDA during a trip to Punta Mita, Mexico.


Fashion Deals Update:

The Tryals And Condemnation Of {lionel Anderson, Alias Munson, William Russel, Alias Napper, Charles Parris, Alias Parry, Henry St

The Tryals And Condemnation Of {lionel Anderson, Alias Munson, William Russel, Alias Napper, Charles Parris, Alias Parry, Henry St

Full Title:The Tryals and Condemnation of {Lionel Anderson, Alias Munson, William Russel, Alias Napper, Charles Parris, Alias Parry, Henry Starkey, James Corker, and William Marshal, for High Treason as Romish Priests, upon The Statute of 27. Eliz. Cap. 2. TogetherDescription: The Making of the Modern Law: Trials, 1600-1926 collection provides descriptions of the major trials from over 300 years, with official trial documents, unofficially published accounts of the trials, briefs and arguments and more. Readers can delve into sensational trials as well as those precedent-setting trials associated with key constitutional and historical issues and discover, including the Amistad Slavery case, the Dred Scott case and Scopes monkey trial.Trials provides unfiltered narrative into the lives of the trial participants as well as everyday people, providing an unparalleled source for the historical study of sex, gender, class, marriage and divorce.++++The below data was compiled from various identification fields in the bibliographic record of this title. This data is provided as an additional tool in helping to insure edition identification:++++<docketNumber><fileDate><jurisdiction><secondaryDoctype>Monograph<edition><termDate><sourceLibrary>New York City Bar<imprintFull>London: Printed for Thomas Collins and John Starkey Book-Sellers in Fleet-Street Near Temple-Bar, 1680
List Price: