One of the most prestigious cultural awards in the country will go to Tony winner Billy Joel, Broadway vet Shirley MacLaine and more at this year’s Kennedy Center Honors, reports The New York Times. The 36th annual event will also recognize musician Carlos Santana, opera singer Martina Arroyo and jazz musician Herbie Hancock during the ceremony this December.
Joel, MacLaine and the rest of this year’s honorees are the first group to receive the prestigious accolade under a revised selection process, which was revamped following criticism over lack of diversity. The awards are chosen based on each artist’s lifetime contributions to American culture in dance, music, film, television, opera and theater.
The Honors will be presented on December 7, 2013, with the annual televised portion of the ceremony—featuring tribute performances at the Kennedy Center—taped on December 8 and broadcast on December 29.
Hit-maker Joel is a six-time Grammy winner and 23-time nominee, but he’s also a Tony-winning Broadway orchestrator for his work on the 2002 musical Movin’ Out (comprised entirely of his songs). Oscar winner MacLaine is recognized for her robust film resume, which includes Terms of Endearment, The Apartment, Irma la Douce and The Turning Point. MacLaine appeared on Broadway in Me and Juliet and The Pajama Game, as well as three solo revues.