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Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One

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Eminent artist friends and peers of this year's six honorees converged in Washington, D.C. on Sunday December 7th to present entertaining and heartfelt tributes at THE 31ST ANNUAL KENNEDY CENTER HONORS. BroadwayWorld.com's cameras covered the gala event to bring you all the starry celebration.

This annual event recognizes recipients for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts in dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures and television. Keeping with tradition, the roster of performers and presenters remains secret prior to the gala, and a short biographical film is featured during each honoree's tribute.

President and Mrs. George W. Bush, Vice President and Mrs. Richard B. Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are seated with the honorees in the presidential box in the Opera House of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, after having just attended the gala White House reception for the honorees.

Host Caroline Kennedy commenced the festivities by quoting her father, President John F. Kennedy, who said, "I see little of more importance to the future of our country and our civilization than full recognition of the place of the artist." She described the six 2008 honorees as "a dance-mad girl from Indiana who - when push came to shove - kicked down the wall between high art and low to stage her own revolution in dance; two rockers from working class London who emerged as founding fathers of the British invasion, talking for their g-g-g-generation; a funny girl from Brooklyn whose outsized talent as a singer, actress and director let her put her stamp on the way we ...are; a lanky son of the Mississippi delta whose ease and honesty on the screen paved his path to Glory'; and a honky-tonkin' boy from East Texas whose tear stained voice and raw emotion made him the King of Country."

THE 31ST ANNUAL KENNEDY CENTER HONORS is a production of the Kennedy Center. George Stevens Jr., who created the Honors in 1978 with Nick Vanoff, produced and co-wrote the show for the 31st consecutive year. Michael Stevens was a co-producer. The Honors telecast has been honored with five Emmy Awards for Outstanding Program. It has also been recognized with the Peabody Award for Outstanding Contribution to Television and seven awards from the Writers Guild of America. THE 31ST ANNUAL KENNEDY CENTER HONORS is sponsored in part by General Motors.

Photos by Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
The 2008 Kennedy Center Honors

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Robin Lippman shows who she is cheering on!

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Madeleine Albright

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Jane Alexander

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Jane Alexander

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Alan Bergman

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Marilyn Bergman

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Jack Black

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Jack Black

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Jack Black

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Lynda Carter

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Lynda Carter

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Robert Altman and Lynda Carter

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Lynda Carter

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Leslie Moonves

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Julie Chen

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Leslie Moonves and Julie Chen

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Julie Chen

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Glenn Close

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Glenn Close

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Chris Cornell

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Chris Cornell with wife Vicky Karayiannis and daughter Toni

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Clint Eastwood

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Aretha Franklin

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Newt Gingrich

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Newt Gingrich and guest

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Dave Grohl

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Jordyn Blum and Dave Grohl

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Quincy Jones

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Quincy Jones and Guest

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Idina Menzel

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Idina Menzel

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Idina Menzel

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
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Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Idina Menzel

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Idina Menzel

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Dina Merrill

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Dina Merrill

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
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Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Ne-Yo

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Ne-Yo and guest

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Ne-Yo

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Ne-Yo

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Ne-Yo

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
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Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Kelli O'Hara

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Greg Naughton

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Greg Naughton and Kelli O'Hara

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Nancy Pelosi

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Paul Pelosi and Nancy Pelosi

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Queen Latifah

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Queen Latifah

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Queen Latifah

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Queen Latifah

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Lynn Redgrave

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Lynn Redgrave with guest

Photo Coverage: Kennedy Center Attendees Part One
Tom Skerritt

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Walter McBride As a 14 year old youth, Walter was transfixed by his first Broadway Show, the original production of 'GREASE'. His Journey to celebrity photojournalism began that fateful night. Meeting, photographing and getting to know the cast inspired him to spend his professional life doing what he loved. Walter moved to Manhattan and for a leading role as a Photographer & Photo Researcher. Currently headlining in New Jersey with his partner Richard and family members Dali (Jack Russell) & Gala (Schnoodle). Recently he made his Broadway debut sharing the stage with Hugh Jackman in 'Hugh Jackman on Broadway' as well as receiving the Actors' Equity Association Gypsy Spirit Award. Walter McBride Photography is syndicated worldwide by Corbis/AP.