Billy Joel, the Sag Harbor resident and consummate piano man, is among the artists who will be recognized at the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced Thursday.
“Billy Joel’s melodies have provided the soundtrack of our lives for over four decades making him one pop music’s most prolific and memorable singers and songwriters,” Kennedy Center chairman David M. Rubenstein said.
The other recipients at the 36th annual national celebration of the arts are opera singer Martina Arroyo, pianist, keyboardist, bandleader and composer Herbie Hancock, actress Shirley MacLaine and musician and songwriter Carlos Santana.
“The Kennedy Center celebrates five extraordinary individuals who have spent their lives elevating the cultural vibrancy of our nation and the world,” Rubenstein said.
On December 8 at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, D.C., Joel and the other honorees will sit with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for performances and tributes by their peers. It will be broadcast on CBS December 29 at 9 p.m.
Their Kennedy Center Honors medallions will be presented the night before at a State Department dinner hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry.
Steven Spielberg of East Hampton was a 2006 Kennedy Center Honors recipient.