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The Journal Gazette

  • Kennedy Center Honoree Gloria Estefan, third from right and her husband, Emilio Estefan, center, arrive at the State Department for the Kennedy Center Honors gala dinner, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

  • Front row from left, 2017 Kennedy Center Honorees Carmen de Lavallade, Norman Lear, Gloria Estefan, back row from left, LL Cool J, and Lionel Richie are photographed following the State Department dinner for the Kennedy Center Honors, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

  • From left, 2017 Kennedy Center Honorees LL Cool J, Carmen de Lavallade, Norman Lear, Lionel Richie and Gloria Estefan celebrate following the State Department dinner for the Kennedy Center Honors, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, right, talks with 2017 Kennedy Center Honorees Lionel Richie and Gloria Estefan, center, following the State Department dinner for the Kennedy Center Honors, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

  • From left, 2017 Kennedy Center Honorees Carmen de Lavallade, Norman Lear, and Gloria Estefan celebrate following the State Department dinner for the Kennedy Center Honors, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

Sunday, December 03, 2017 1:40 pm

Kennedy Center Honors recognize top artists, skip drama

Associated Press

 

WASHINGTON – This year's Kennedy Center Honors will recognize some of the best artists and performers in the country, while skipping the political drama that had loomed over it in a divisive political atmosphere.

Television producer Norman Lear is a longtime political activist who threatened to boycott over his opposition to President Donald Trump. But a showdown was avoided when Trump announced in August that he would not attend.

Rapper and actor LL Cool J and Lear are among the honorees for this year. The 40th annual Kennedy Center Honors ceremony on Sunday night will also pay tribute to dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade and musicians Lionel Richie and Gloria Estefan.

The recipients were honored Saturday at a gala State Department dinner ahead of Sunday's ceremony.