WASHINGTON – Film director Stephen Spielberg, singers Dolly Parton and Smokey Robinson, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and conductor Zubin Mehta will be honored in December by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
"This year we honor five extraordinary international artists whose abundant contributions to their fields are remarkable," Stephen A. Schwarzman, the Kennedy Center's chairman said Wednesday in announcing this year's honors recipients. "They have transformed the culture of our country and of the world."
The recipients will be saluted at the 29th annual Kennedy Center Honors on Dec. 3, which will be broadcast later on CBS. President Bush and first lady Laura Bush will attend the gala. The artists will receive their honors at a State Department dinner hosted by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Dec. 2.
Spielberg, 59, has won two Academy Awards for best director. His films include "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," "Jaws" and "Schindler's List."
Parton, 60, has been performing for more than four decades. Her "creativity and spirit make her country music's best ambassador," Schwarzman said.
Robinson's hit recordings include "Tracks Of My Tears," "Tears Of a Clown" and "I Second That Emotion. Schwarzman said the 66-year-old Motown singer "created the soundtrack for the lives of a generation of Americans."
Lloyd Webber, 58, composed the music for "Cats," "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Evita." He has won seven Tony Awards and three Grammy Awards.
Mehta, 70, was music director of the New York Philharmonic from 1978 to 1991. Before that he was music director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Kennedy Center honorees are recognized for performing arts contributions to American culture.