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Per Reuters: Dec 4 – Actor George Clooney, singer-songwriter Amy Grant, singer Gladys Knight, composer Tania León and rock group U2 were celebrated on Sunday for their contributions to the arts at a White House reception ahead of the Kennedy Center Honors show. The Kennedy Center event, now in its 45th year, recognizes stars from music, stage and screen for their contributions to American culture. At a reception for the five honorees at the White House beforehand, President Joe Biden addressed each personally, praising their individual talents and said they embodied the spirit of the country. “To see each other, to see ourselves in one another, to unite in common cause – tonight we celebrate a truly exceptional…group of artists,” Biden said. The room was packed with celebrities, the White House’s second star-studded event in recent days. Actors Julia Roberts and Matt Damon were seated next to each other, in front of journalist Katie Couric. In the front row former Washington, D.C. police officer Michael Fanone, who was beaten defending the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was seated next to singer Eddie Vedder. Clooney, an actor and filmmaker who played a doctor on the popular NBC television show “ER” before launching a movie career that earned him two Academy Awards, has also drawn praise for his humanitarian work. Grant rose to prominence as a contemporary Christian music singer who later crossed over to pop stardom, amassing six Grammy Awards. Knight, who has won seven Grammy Awards, is famous for hit songs including “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and “Midnight Train to Georgia” as the lead singer of The Pips, which became Gladys Knight & The Pips in 1962. Cuban-born León is a conductor as well as a composer, whose orchestral piece “Stride” won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Music. Irish band U2, with members Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr., has won 22 Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.
Per Wikipedia: Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was born November 20, 1942 and is an American politician who is the 46th and current president of the United States. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the 47th vice president from 2009 to 2017 under Barack Obama and represented Delaware in the United States Senate from 1973 to 2009. Biden was born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania, moving with his family to New Castle County, Delaware, in 1953 when he was ten. He studied at the University of Delaware before earning his law degree from Syracuse University in 1968. He was elected to the New Castle County Council in 1970 and became the sixth-youngest senator in U.S. history after he was elected to the United States Senate from Delaware in 1972, at age 29. Biden was the chair or ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for 12 years and was influential in foreign affairs during Obama’s presidency. He also chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1987 to 1995, dealing with drug policy, crime prevention, and civil liberties issues; and oversaw six U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings, including the contentious hearings for Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas. He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988 and 2008. Biden was reelected to the Senate six times and was the fourth-most senior sitting senator at the time when he became Obama’s vice president after they won the 2008 presidential election, defeating John McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin. Obama and Biden were reelected in 2012, defeating the Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. During eight years as vice president, Biden leaned on his Senate experience and frequently represented the administration in negotiations with congressional Republicans, including on the Budget Control Act of 2011, which resolved a debt ceiling crisis, and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which addressed the impending “fiscal cliff”. He also oversaw infrastructure spending in 2009 to counteract the Great Recession.
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Artist: Rachel K Collier
Title: Beatles Unite