© Reuters. Kennedy Center honorees U2 band member Bono greets Cuban-born American composer, conductor and educator Tania Leon during a reception for Kennedy Center honorees ahead of the official gala at the State Department in Washington, D.C., U.S., December 3, 202
By Jeff Mason and Daphne Psaledakis
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Actor George Clooney, singer-songwriter Amy Grant, singer Gladys Knight, composer Tania León and rock group U2 were set to be celebrated on Sunday for their contributions to the arts with a White House reception and Kennedy Center Honors show.
The Kennedy Center event, now in its 45th year, honors stars from music, stage and screen for their “contribution to American culture.”
President Joe Biden will hold a reception for the five honorees at the White House ahead of what is expected to be a star-studded performance at the Kennedy Center later in the evening, which he and first lady Jill Biden are slated to attend.
Clooney, an actor and filmmaker who played a doctor on the popular NBC television show “ER” before launching a movie career that earned him two Academy Awards, has also drawn praise for his humanitarian work.
Grant rose to prominence as a contemporary Christian music singer who later crossed over to pop stardom, amassing six Grammy Awards.
Knight, who has won seven Grammy Awards, is famous for hit songs including “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and “Midnight Train to Georgia” as the lead singer of The Pips, which became Gladys Knight & The Pips in 1962.
Cuban-born León is a conductor as well as a composer, whose orchestral piece “Stride” won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Music.
Irish band U2, with members Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr., has won 22 Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.