2018 Kennedy Center honoree Wayne Shorter attends the 41st Annual Kennedy Center Honors at The Kennedy Center on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Washington. (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP)

The Latest: Jazz great Wayne Shorter gets honors

December 02, 2018 - 8:07 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Kennedy Center Honors program (all times local):

9:05 p.m.

Jazz legend Wayne Shorter was hailed by the Kennedy Center for a six-decade career that included collaborations with everyone from Art Blakey and Miles Davis to Carlos Santana and Joni Mitchell.

In presenting Shorter's honor, Jason Moran, the Kennedy Center's artistic director for jazz, described his music in celestial terms.

"His sound holds a special place in the galaxy," Moran said. "I can safely say that somewhere in the galaxy right now, a band is playing one of his pieces."

After Moran's testimonial, Shorter's music was performed by a jazz band that included Herbie Hancock, Shorter's former bandmate and a previous Kennedy Center Honoree.

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8:05 p.m.

Sunday night's Kennedy Center Honors ceremony started with a standing ovation for former President George H.W. Bush who died Friday. Host Gloria Estefan recounted her memories of the former president.

She recalled being invited to the White House when Bush was president and how Bush "literally spent 45 minutes patiently talking to my eight-year-old son" about how the government worked.

The first recipient, Reba McEntire, received a testimonial from music star Kelly Clarkson, who performed McEntire's hit song "Fancy" and recalled meeting her idol for the first time.

"Sometimes when we meet our heroes, it doesn't always pan out," Clarkson told McEntire, "but my friendship with you became one of the highlights of my life."

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7:05 p.m.

Cher says she never thought she'd be walking the red carpet to receive a lifetime artistic achievement award at the Kennedy Center Honors.

The veteran pop music icon and Oscar winner said Sunday night at Washington's Kennedy Center that she always tried to focus on the music and her fans over any career honors.

She says, "You do things for the art and if the awards come, that's gravy."

The 72-year-old says she was genuinely surprised to receive the award.

She says, "I never thought I was the right person for this because I'm a little bit out there."

Other honorees are composer Phillip Glass, country music legend Reba McEntire, jazz icon Wayne Shorter and the co-creators of "Hamilton."

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump are not attending.

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6:35 p.m.

Celebrities and guests are arriving at Washington's Kennedy Center for this year's Kennedy Center Honors program.

The artists receiving this year's lifetime artistic achievement award on Sunday are Cher, composer Phillip Glass, country music legend Reba McEntire and jazz icon Wayne Shorter. The co-creators of "Hamilton" will receive a unique award honoring them as "trailblazing creators of a transformative work that defies category."

For the second straight year, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump will not attend.

Other presidents have missed Kennedy Center ceremonies, but Trump is the first to miss them twice. He returned early Sunday from the Group of 20 summit in Argentina.

Had he gone to the Kennedy Center, it's unlikely he would have been warmly welcomed by at least some of the honorees.

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