Steven Spielberg, Dolly Parton, Smokey Robinson, SIR Andrew Lloyd Webber and ZUBIN MEHTA have been awarded Kennedy Center Honors for their lifetime contributions to the arts and American culture.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice hosted the 29th annual awards ceremony at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC.
Rice revealed her first date was a concert by R+B legend Robinson, with her father insisting on coming along as a chaperone because he was worried "there was too much power in Smokey's soul".
Country legend Parton joked the ceremony was "like hillbillies in the city" after admiring the desk of third US President THOMAS JEFFERSON in one of the historic building's lavish rooms.
Saving Private Ryan director Spielberg, Phantom Of The Opera composer Lloyd Webber and conductor ZUBIN MEHTA were also present to pick up their gongs.