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Meryl Streep appears in a scene from the film Its Complicated. - Provided courtesy of Relativity Media

Meryl Streep and Neil Diamond are among 2011 Kennedy Center Honorees

09/07/2011 by OnTheRedCarpet.com Staff

Actress Meryl Streep is among the five people who will be awarded a Kennedy Center Honor later this year. The announcement was made on Wednesday, September 7, according to the Associated Press.

Other honorees include singer Neil Diamond, Broadway singer Barbara Cook, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and saxophonist Sonny Rollins. The honor is for their contributions to American culture through the arts.

President Barack Obama will salute the artists and others will perform in their honor at a ceremony at the Kennedy Center on Dec. 4. The show will be broadcast on CBS on Dec. 27.

Streep, 62, has won two Oscars and is known for roles in "Sophie's Choice," "Deer Hunter," "Silkwood," "Kramer vs. Karmer," "Out of Africa," "The Devil Wears Prada," "Julie & Julia" and "It's Complicated." The actress is set to star in the upcoming biopic "The Iron Lady" where she will play British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

"I am deeply honored by this news, and wish my mother and father were alive to hear it," Streep said in a statement on Wednesday, according to the wire service. "All that education, allowance, tuition, voice lessons, summer jobs, scholarship application deadlines and loving care and discipline -- all that they gave me, bore fruit in a way they never dreamed."

Yo-Yo Ma, 55, is a world-renowned classical musician who has been playing the cello since he was 4-years-old. In 2010, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Rollins, 81, has shared the stage with Jazz greats like Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie. Broadway veteran Cook, 83, made her Broadway debut in 1951 and later was cast in the musical version of Voltaire's "Candide." Cook won a Tony for her role in the 1957 hit musical "The Music Man."

Meanwhile, Diamond is known for hit songs like "Sweet Caroline," "Solitary Man" and "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon." The 70-year-old singer announced on his official Twitter page that he recently became engaged.

"Good news coming from sunny LA/ and you're the first I want to tell/ Katie & I just got engaged/ and I hope you wish us well. Neil," Diamond wrote on Wednesday.

The Kennedy Center Honors began in 1978 and previous honorees include Warren Betty, Elton John, Steve Martin, Robert De Niro, Paul McCartney, Oprah Winfrey, Bob Dylan and Robert Redford.

Check out the teaser for "The Iron Lady" below.

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