Gloria Estefan, Norman Lear, and LL Cool J Among New Class of Kennedy Center Honorees

2017 recipients also include Lionel Richie and dancer Carmen de Lavallade

August 4, 2017
Photo: Getty Images

Renowned Cuban-American recording artist Gloria Estefan has been named a Kennedy Center Honoree.

She joins TV pioneer Norman Lear, rapper LL Cool J, music legend Lionel Richie, and dancer Carmen de Lavallade as this year’s class of artists who will be recognized for their lifetime contributions to American culture.

Since 1978, the Kennedy Center’s Board of Trustees has bestowed the accolade upon five artists each year, but this latest group includes several firsts—including its first rapper in LL Cool J and its first Cuban-American artist in Estefan.

Estefan has won seven Grammy’s throughout her prolific career as both a solo artist and the lead singer of the Miami Sound Machine. When she sat down with Howard in 2011, she shared several stories from her early days in music and spoke about the everlasting love for her song “Conga.” Check out more from her conversation with Howard here.

The Kennedy Center Honors gala will be broadcast Dec. 26 on CBS. Get more information here.

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