Diamond And Streep Honored For Arts Contributions

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September 7, 2011 | 6:00pm EST

Neil Diamond and Meryl Streep are to be rewarded for their cultural contributions to the arts as this year’s recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors.
Sweet Caroline singer Diamond and the veteran actress will pick up the accolades at the 34th annual ceremony before U.S. President Barack Obama on 4 December.

Acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Broadway star Barbara Cook and saxophonist/composer Sonny Rollins were among the others chosen for their lifetime of work.

The five stars will join a long list of talented past honorees; among them director Steven Spielberg, country singer Dolly Parton, Diamond’s one-time school pal and duet partner Barbara Streisand and Goodfellas actor Robert De Niro.

The honor will cap a tremendous 2011 for Diamond, who was inducted in to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in March and honored with a Billboard Icon Award in May.

Then, on Wednesday, he announced his engagement to girlfriend and co-manager Katie McNeil via Twitter.com.