2013’s five artists have been named for the 36th Kennedy Center Honors with its announcement on Thursday. One of the recipients is musician and composer Carlos Santana. When Santana learned of the honor he stated, “It’s better than Fourth of July, Christmas, Thanksgiving and Valentine’s.” This award will mark a milestone in the legendary performer’s life. It was 50 years ago he left Tijuana, Mexico, arriving in San Francisco, California to begin a professional music career that’s been non-stop.
Santana and opera singer Martina Arroyo are the two Hispanics receiving this coveted medal in December. Other past Hispanic honorees have been Broadway’s Chita Rivera and opera singer Placido Domingo. “Piano Man's” Billy Joel and jazz extraordinaire Herbie Hancock will round out the musicians. Shirley MacLaine is honored for her 60-year career in films.
The recipients will receive their medals at a dinner given by the State Department on December 7, followed by a reception at the White House and their tribute performances on December 8. Sunday, December 29 at 9 p.m. ET, CBS will broadcast the Honors Gala from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.