On Sunday night performing artists such as Barbara Cook, Neil Diamond, Yo-Yo Ma, Sonny Rollins and Meryl Streep were honored by President Barack Obama at the Kennedy Center in Washington.

The Kennedy Center Honors, in their 34th year, were hosted by Caroline Kennedy, former president John F Kennedy’s daughter.

The awards illustrated just how much influence and clout they have with the lineup of entertainment on the night - Anne Hathaway and Kevin Kline performed a musical number for Streep, James Taylor sang to Yo-Yo Ma, Patti LuPone belted one out in honor of Barbara Cook and R&B artist Raphael Saadiq performed Neil Diamond songs.

As Time magazine pointed out this annual event brings together celebrities and public figures who might not otherwise have their paths cross. This is an event “where you can find the House Minority Leader sitting next to the CEO of CBS, Senators sitting next to stars from Sex and the City — and presidential hopefuls (like Newt Gingrich)”.

Those honored included:

-    Meryl Streep – representing the American film industry.
-    Sonny Rollins – representing American music.
-     Barbara Cook – representing the American songbook.
-    Yo-Yo Ma - representing America in the world

The Kennedy Center Honors will be broadcast Dec. 27th on CBS.