Grammy-winning female rapper and Oscar-nominated actor Queen Latifah recently received a Kennedy Centre Honour in Washington DC alongside Dionne Warwick and the Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb for her contribution to performing arts and American culture.
The honours ceremony takes place annually in Washington DC and sees the President of the United States in attendance to celebrate the recipients. This year, the event was hosted by Gloria Estefan and featured tribute performances from artists including Gladys Knight, Missy Elliott and Michael Bublé.
Many acts paid tribute to Latifah (real name Dana Owens) by performing some of her most well-known hits. Rapsody played a rendition of Latifah’s ‘Just Another Day’, while Monie Love and MC Lyte duetted on ‘Ladies First’.
Tributes to other recipients were also made, with Michael Bublé singing the Bee Gees song ‘How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?’ for Gibb and Chloe Bailey singing Dionne Warwick’s ‘Walk On By’.
Prior to Owens coming onstage to receive her award, Elliott gave a speech, stating, “What Latifah has taught us is unity, to believe in yourself, and to love a Black woman from infinity to infinity.”
When informed she would be receiving an honour, Latifah released a statement, reading, “When we started on this journey decades ago, we were often told ‘No’. To now be recognised amongst so many multi-hyphenates feels unbelievable, not for just me and my team, but for our community.”
Footage from the ceremony was recently uploaded to YouTube by the Kennedy Center, where the actor and comedian Billy Crystal and the opera singer Renée Fleming were also honoured.