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The five recipients of the 2013 Kennedy Center (Credit: MCT )

The five recipients of the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors following a dinner hosted by United States Secretary of State John F. Kerry at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. Seated in the front row, from left, are: Shirley MacLaine, and Martina Arroyo. Standing, from left, are Billy Joel, Carlos Santana, and Herbie Hancock. The 2013 honorees are opera singer Martina Arroyo; pianist, keyboardist, bandleader and composer Herbie Hancock; pianist, singer and songwriter Billy Joel; actress Shirley MacLaine; and musician and songwriter Carlos Santana. (Dec. 7, 2013)

2013 Kennedy Center honorees

The 2013 class of Kennedy Center honorees is impressive and eclectic, filled with leaders in their fields who Kennedy Center chairman David M. Rubenstein says "have spent their lives elevating the cultural vibrancy of our nation and the world." See the members of this year's class, before they're honored by President Obama on Dec. 8 in Washington. -- GLENN GAMBOA 

2013 Kennedy Center honoree Billy Joel attends the
(Credit: AP )

2013 Kennedy Center honoree Billy Joel attends the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. (Dec. 8, 2013)

President Barack Obama honors, from left, 2013 Kennedy
(Credit: Getty Images)

President Barack Obama honors, from left, 2013 Kennedy Center honorees Carlos Santana, Shirley MacLaine, Billy Joel, Herbie Hancock and Martina Arroyo at a reception at the White House prior to the Kennedy Center ceremony in Washington, D.C. (Dec. 8, 2013)

Billy Joel and girlfriend Alexis Roderick on the
(Credit: AP )

Billy Joel and girlfriend Alexis Roderick on the red carpet during the the 36th annual Kennedy Center Honors Gala at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC on Dec. 8, 2013.

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2013 Kennedy Center honorees Carlos Santana, Shirley MacLaine,
(Credit: Getty Images)

2013 Kennedy Center honorees Carlos Santana, Shirley MacLaine, Billy Joel, Herbie Hancock and Martina Arroyo attend a reception at the White House before the Kennedy Center ceremony in Washington, D.C. (Dec. 8, 2013)

Singer-songwriter Billy Joel, left, arrives for a reception
(Credit: AP )

Singer-songwriter Billy Joel, left, arrives for a reception in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (Dec. 8, 2013)

Opera singer Martina Arroyo, left, arrives for a
(Credit: AP )

Opera singer Martina Arroyo, left, arrives for a reception in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (Dec. 8, 2013)

Actress Shirley MacLaine, left, arrives for a reception
(Credit: AP )

Actress Shirley MacLaine, left, arrives for a reception in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (Dec. 8, 2013)

The five recipients of the 2013 Kennedy Center
(Credit: MCT )

The five recipients of the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors following a dinner hosted by United States Secretary of State John F. Kerry at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. Seated in the front row, from left, are: Shirley MacLaine, and Martina Arroyo. Standing, from left, are Billy Joel, Carlos Santana, and Herbie Hancock. The 2013 honorees are opera singer Martina Arroyo; pianist, keyboardist, bandleader and composer Herbie Hancock; pianist, singer and songwriter Billy Joel; actress Shirley MacLaine; and musician and songwriter Carlos Santana. (Dec. 7, 2013)

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Susan Crow and Tony Bennett pose on the
(Credit: Getty Images)

Susan Crow and Tony Bennett pose on the red carpet during the The 36th Kennedy Center Honors gala at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (Dec. 8, 2013)

Cindy Blackman and Carlos Santana pose on the
(Credit: Getty Images)

Cindy Blackman and Carlos Santana pose on the red carpet during the The 36th Kennedy Center Honors gala at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (Dec. 8, 2013)

Shirley MacLaine poses on the red carpet during
(Credit: Getty Images)

Shirley MacLaine poses on the red carpet during the The 36th Kennedy Center Honors gala at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (Dec. 8, 2013)

Martina Arroyo poses on the red carpet during
(Credit: Getty Images)

Martina Arroyo poses on the red carpet during the The 36th Kennedy Center Honors gala at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (Dec. 8, 2013)

2013 Kennedy Center honoree Martina Arroyo and family
(Credit: AP )

2013 Kennedy Center honoree Martina Arroyo and family arrive at the State Department for the Kennedy Center Honors gala dinner in Washington. (Dec. 7, 2013)

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Kennedy Center Honorees Billy Joel and Martina Arroyo
(Credit: Getty Images)

Kennedy Center Honorees Billy Joel and Martina Arroyo attend the annual gala in Washington, DC. (Dec. 8, 2013)

Kennedy Center Honorees Martina Arroyo, left, and Herbie
(Credit: EPA )

Kennedy Center Honorees Martina Arroyo, left, and Herbie Hancock, right, attend the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, DC. (Dec. 8, 2013)

Billy Joel and Alexis Roderick pose on the
(Credit: Getty Images)

Billy Joel and Alexis Roderick pose on the red carpet during the the 36th Kennedy Center Honors gala at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. (Dec. 8, 2013)

Kennedy Center Honorees Shirley MacLaine and Carlos Santana
(Credit: Getty Images)

Kennedy Center Honorees Shirley MacLaine and Carlos Santana attend the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, DC. (Dec. 8, 2013)

MARTINA ARROYO The opera singer, born and raised
(Credit: Getty Images)

MARTINA ARROYO The opera singer, born and raised in New York, has performed on the world's most prestigious stages as well as recorded more than 50 operas with conductors including Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta and James Levine. Best known for her interpretations of Verdi, Puccini and Mozart, Arroyo has "dazzled the world with her glorious soprano voice and continues to share her artistry with a new generation of opera singers," Rubenstein said.

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HERBIE HANCOCK The keyboardist-composer could really receive the
(Credit: Getty Images)

HERBIE HANCOCK The keyboardist-composer could really receive the award on the strength of "Rockit" alone, the Grammy-winning combination of jazz, hip-hop and synth-pop that also captivated with its groundbreaking video. Of course, the Chicago native hasn't been idle in the three decades since, even winning an album of the year Grammy for "River: The Joni Letters" in 2007. Rubenstein called Hancock "one of the most innovative musicians in the world, constantly breaking musical barriers and redefining the art of jazz."

SHIRLEY MacLAINE The Oscar-winning actress, best known for
(Credit: AP)

SHIRLEY MacLAINE The Oscar-winning actress, best known for her roles in "Terms of Endearment" and most recently in "Downton Abbey," calls herself a "communicator," which encompasses her careers as an actress, author and motivational speaker. Rubenstein said MacLaine has left "an indelible impression over a nearly 60-year career on stage and screen."

CARLOS SANTANA The Rock and Roll Hall of
(Credit: Getty Images)

CARLOS SANTANA The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, best known for his fiery performance at Woodstock and his 15 million-selling album "Supernatural," helped popularize world music with his fusion of Latin elements and rock. The Mexican-born rocker, who also has designed everything from guitars to handbags, "transcends genres while entertaining millions," Rubenstein said.

BILLY JOEL Long Island's own Piano Man rounds
(Credit: Newsday / Bruce Gilbert)

BILLY JOEL Long Island's own Piano Man rounds out the list, for reasons well known.

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