Honoring the best in entertainment and arts, President Barack Obama led the 34th Annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C. on Sunday evening (December 4).
The U.S. Commander-in-Chief, who was joined by wife Michelle (who looked lovely in a strapless cobalt dress), kicked things off by welcoming honorees Meryl Streep, Barbara Cook, Neil Diamond, Sonny Rollins and Yo-Yo Ma to a reception in the East Room of the White House before heading over to the Kennedy Center.
Of the selections for this year's ceremony, Obama told that each and every one of them has "given the nation the extraordinary gift of the arts."
And while he agreed that each has an unbelievable amount of talent, President Obama said that Meryl, Barbara, Neil, Sonny and Yo-Yo are being "celebrated for their ability to bring people together."
During Miss Streep's presentation, Tracey Ullman took to the podium while saying, "Looking around, I see Caroline Kennedy, first lady Michelle Obama, the president … an illustrious group to be sure, but with no disrespect to you guys, we have Meryl-bloody-Streep in the room!"
Also toasting Meryl were Emily Blunt, Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci, with Miss Blunt telling the illustrious guests, "In every scene, she's actually doing at least two jobs. First, her own character, who is always so complete, so natural, you forget that somewhere in there is Meryl Streep. Then the second is stabilizing the other actor who is having a nervous breakdown because they're in a scene with Meryl Streep."
With the gala set to be broadcast on CBS December 27th, other attendees/performers at the annual affair included Sarah Jessica Parker with Matthew Broderick, Glenn Close, Diane Sawyer, Robert De Niro, Newt Gingrich, Cal Ripken, Alan Greenspan, Stephen Colbert, Florence Henderson and Smokey Robinson.