Heralded as a musical genius and a champion of human rights — Sting received the nation’s highest honor for influencing American culture through the arts.
But he’s not alone.
Actor Tom Hanks, comedian Lily Tomlin, singer Al Green and ballerina Patricia Mcbride also received the arts prize.
Top performers and power players from Hollywood, Broadway and Washington gathered to honor artists receiving this year’s Kennedy Center Honors.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were among the first to congratulate the honorees at the White House.
“As he says, the greatest thing that ever happened to me, a little boy from Arkansas, was that amidst all the doubts, I found peace. For the peace he has found and the soul he has shared with all of us. Tonight we honor the Reverend Al Green,” President Obama said.
The crowd then moved to a gala with Stephen Colbert as the host and a slew of performers slated to honor the inductees.
This is the 37th Kennedy center Honors performance and it will air in full at the end of the year on CBS.