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Obama presents the Kennedy Center Honors to Mel Brooks, Bruce Springsteen, Robert DeNiro and more




VIDEO MEL BROOKS PRESENTATION

VIDEO BOBBY DENIRO PRESENTATION

VIDEO S
PRINGSTEEN PRESENTATION


VIDEO DAVE BRUBECK PRESENTATION

VIDEO GRACE BUMBRY PRESENTATION


WASHINGTON -- With a little help from Carol Burnett, a new star from the hit TV show "Glee" and other top entertainers, political Washington is saluting five of the nation's top artists with the Kennedy Center Honors this weekend.

A surprise list of star performers will honor Bruce Springsteen, Robert De Niro and comic genius Mel Brooks Sunday during a show attended by President Barack Obama and other power players from Washington and Hollywood.

Also receiving the honors -- which recognize individuals who have defined American culture through the arts as a living memorial to John F. Kennedy -- are jazz pianist and composer Dave Brubeck and opera singer Grace Bumbry.

About 300 guests, including Jack Black, Edward Norton, Matthew Broderick, Ben Stiller, Martin Scorsese, Sting, Philip Seymour Hoffman were at a reception in the East Room of the White House.

"These performers are indeed the best," Obama said at the gathering. "They are also living reminders of a single truth -- and I'm going to steal a line from Michelle here -- the arts are not somehow apart from our national life, the arts are the heart of our national life."

Springsteen, 60, described the award he received on Saturday night at a State Department dinner as different than other accolades.

"We worked really hard for our music to be part of American life and our fans' lives," he said. "So it's an acknowledgment that you've kind of threaded your way into the culture in a certain way. It's satisfying."

Obama said, "Only a handful of people have tapped the full power of music to tell the American story. ... One of those people is Bruce Springsteen. ... I'm the president, but he's the boss."

The show will air nationwide Dec. 29 on CBS.

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