Without Trump, Kennedy Center celebrates Lionel Richie and Gloria Estefan

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With a important deficiency of President Donald Trump, a Kennedy Center on Sunday distinguished singers Lionel Richie and Gloria Estefan, rapper LL Cool J, radio author Norman Lear and dancer Carmen de Lavallade with honors for a arts.

The Kennedy Center Honors are deliberate a top approval in a nation for artists opposite many fields, and a significance of a annual eventuality is customarily underscored by a White House accepting with a boss and a initial lady.

Not this year.

The White House pronounced in Aug that Trump and his wife, Melania, would not attend, so that those respected could suffer a eventuality “without any domestic distraction.” The White House accepting was also canceled after some honorees pronounced they would protest it.

De Lavallade, 86, pronounced she motionless she could not attend such an eventuality after Trump pronounced both right- and severe extremists were during error in a white supremacist convene in Virginia where one lady died.

“Something in my essence … pronounced no,” she told reporters.

The uncover during a Kennedy Center itself went on with minimal politics and a lot of star power.

Musicians, including Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones and Kenny Rogers, paid reverence to Richie, famous for hits such as “Three Times a Lady” and “Say You, Say Me.” Singer Leona Lewis finished with a rocking delivery of Richie’s strike song, “All Night Long,” bringing a assembly to a feet.

Singer and songwriter Estefan, 60, who was innate in Havana, Cuba, was feted by her daughter, Emily, who delivered a relocating delivery of her mother’s strain “Reach.”

The elder Estefan pronounced she was grateful Trump chose not to attend. “Whenever something becomes some-more about a debate than a tangible achievements of a people that are receiving a award, it kinda dampens it for everybody,” she told Reuters on Saturday.

LL Cool J, 49, who stars in a radio uncover “NCIS Los Angeles,” done story by apropos a initial hip bound artist to join a bar of honorees.

“I’ve never been some-more inspired,” he told Reuters. “It’s a sign that art matters.” He pronounced Trump’s participation would have been a distraction.

Oscar-winning singer Meryl Streep kicked off a reverence to her one-time clergyman De Lavallade, an singer and a dancer, who wiped tears from her eyes during a finish of a absolute dance and low-pitched opening of an American devout with a twist: “She’s Got a Whole World in Her Hands.”

Television author and author Lear, famed for producing a strike comedy “All in a Family” as good as “Maude,” “Good Times,” and “The Jeffersons,” was distinguished for opposed tough amicable issues.

Lear was like a second father, pronounced film builder Rob Reiner, who starred in “All in a Family.” From a stage, he said, “Norman, we adore you,” to that Lear shouted behind from a patio in response, “I adore we too.”

Lear, 95, told Reuters it felt good to be an honoree.

“It substantially feels a same as it competence have felt during 80. Everything else does,” he quipped, adding he was not dissapoint that Trump chose not to attend. “It wasn’t a palm we indispensable to shake.”

Displeasure during a Republican boss and his policies shaped a pointed undercurrent during a State Department accepting for a honorees on Saturday night.

“Art transcends borders, cultures, politics,” pronounced singer Julie Andrews, who emceed a reception. “This eventuality gives us an event to step divided from divisive sermon and conclude value in art that has been combined for everyone.”

CBS will promote a 40th Kennedy Center Honors uncover on Dec. 26.

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Sandra Maler and Clarence Fernandez

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