Belfast Telegraph

McCartney, Winfrey to be honoured

Sir Paul McCartney is to be honoured with a major US award - for his contribution to American culture.

The Beatles legend joins chat show host and businesswoman Oprah Winfrey among five recipients of the annual Kennedy Centre Honours.

Sir Paul said: "President Kennedy was such an icon for us in the sixties and his presidency was so inspiring for so many people that it is a great pleasure for this kid from Liverpool to receive this honour."

Chairman of the Kennedy Centre, David M Rubenstein, said the award winners had "spent their lives enriching, inspiring and elevating the cultural vibrancy of our nation and the world".

He added: "Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most influential and successful songwriters and musicians of all time, whose work has continuously altered both the creation and perception of music all over the world."

Previous recipients include Robert De Niro, Brian Wilson, Steven Spielberg and Bob Dylan. They are chosen by trustees of the John F Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts in Washington.

The annual honours gala takes place on December 5, at the Kennedy Centre Opera House in Washington.

But the recipients - who also include dancer and choreographer Bill T Jones, country music star Merle Haggard and composer/lyricist Jerry Herman - will be guests of President Barack Obama at the White House earlier in the evening.

Their award medallions will be presented the night before at a State Department dinner hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Macca is certainly no stranger to The White House, having visited in June to collect the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

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