(Reuters) – Actor Tom Hanks, British rock star Sting and comedian Lily Tomlin are to receive this year’s Kennedy Center Honors, one of the top cultural prizes in the United States.
“Let’s Stay Together” singer Al Green and ballet dancer Patricia McBride will round out the five 2014 honorees in recognition of their lifetime contributions to U.S. culture through the performing arts, the Kennedy Center said on Thursday.
“Al Green’s iconic voice stirs our souls in a style that is all his own; Tom Hanks has a versatility that ranks him among the greatest actors of any generation,” the Kennedy Center said in a statement.
Sting, whose hits include “Every Breath You Take” with his band The Police, was lauded for his “unique voice and memorable songwriting,” while Tomlin, star of stage, screen and TV for more than 40 years, “has made us laugh and continues to amaze us with her acting talent and quick wit.”
McBride spent almost 30 years with New York City Ballet and worked with choreographers Jerome Robbins and George Balanchine.
The five will be celebrated at a gala on Dec. 7 in Washington, attended by U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.
Previous Kennedy Center honorees include Oprah Winfrey, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Meryl Streep, Elizabeth Taylor and Robert Redford.
(Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Doina Chiacu)