Entertainment and Culture
Queen Latifah has made history as the first rapper to receive the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors.
The 46th annual ceremony in Washington D.C. celebrated five remarkable individuals, including Dionne Warwick, Renée Fleming, Barry Gibb, and Billy Crystal. President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff led the event at the White House, recognizing the honorees for their significant contributions to American culture.
Robert De Niro paid tribute to Billy Crystal, while Missy Elliott highlighted the impact of Queen Latifah’s feminist anthem, “Ladies First.” Rita Moreno introduced Queen Latifah, with testimonials from Kerry Washington and Missy Elliott.
The lively set began with 4-year-old social media phenomenon and rapper Van Van, followed by performances of Latifah’s hits by MCLyte, Monie Love, Yo-Yo, and D-Nice. Washington shared Latifah’s origin story, emphasizing her choice of the name “Latifah” at the age of 8, reflecting gentleness and kindness, and later adding the title “Queen” at 17.
For honoree Dionne Warwick, Debbie Allen introduced an A-list lineup of artists, including Mickey Guyton, The Spinners, Cynthia Erivo, Chloe Bailey, and Gladys Knight, who performed Warwick’s classic hits.
The star-studded event also featured tributes from Jay Leno, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Whoopi Goldberg, highlighting the diverse and impactful contributions of the honorees to American arts and culture.
Black Wall St. MediaContributor