Robert De Niro's awards honour
Robert De Niro, Bruce Springsteen and Mel Brooks were presented with lifetime achievement awards yesterday (06.12.09) at the annual Kennedy Center Honours
Robert De Niro, Bruce Springsteen and Mel Brooks have been given lifetime achievement awards.
The legendary entertainers were praised by the US President Barack Obama at the Kennedy Center Honours yesterday (06.12.09), where they were presented with their accolades at a black-tie event for transforming the arts in America.
US leader Obama told the 300 celebrity guests - which included Jack Black, Ben Stiller, Edward Norton, Matthew Broderick and Philip Seymour Hoffman - at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts that the entertainers were being honoured because they were "the best".
He said: "These performers are indeed the best. They are also living reminders of a single truth - and I'm going to steal a line from my wife Michelle here - the arts are not somehow apart from our national life, the arts are the heart of our national life."
Veteran actress Meryl Streep was one of many stars to praise the award-winners.
Speaking about Robert, she said: "Bob has earned the respect he enjoys around the world in the thousands of little bitty details."
Legendary rocker Bruce said it was "satisfying" for his music to be recognised because he and his group, E Street Band, have worked hard for their fans.
He said: "We worked really hard for our music to be part of American life and our fans' lives.
"So it's an acknowledgment that you've kind of threaded your way into the culture in a certain way. It's satisfying."
As well as rewarding actor Robert, musician Bruce and funnyman Mel, jazz pianist Dave Brubeck and opera singer Grace Bumbry were also honoured.