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Meryl Streep among this year's Kennedy Center Honors picks

September 7, 2011 |  4:09 pm

Meryl Streep chosen for Kennedy Center Honors

Meryl Streep has long required ample mantel space, and it looks like it's time for another addition: The actress is one of five people chosen for the 2011 Kennedy Center Honors.

Joining Streep on the list are singers Neil Diamond and Barbara Cook, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and saxophonist and composer Sonny Rollins.

"The sheer brilliance and breadth of Meryl Streep’s performances count as one of the most exhilarating cultural spectacles of our time," Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein said Wednesday. President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will host the honorees in Washington on Dec. 4.

The Kennedy Center Honors celebrate artists whose work influences the country and America's global reach. Last year, country singer Merle Haggard, composer and lyricist Jerry Herman, dancer-choreographer Bill T. Jones, Paul McCartney and Oprah Winfrey were recognized.

The early December date comes just before the release of Streep's awards-bait flick "The Iron Lady," in which she portrays Margaret Thatcher. 


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Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher: First look at her in 'The Iron Lady'

-- Matt Donnelly

Photo: Meryl Streep in the film "It's Complicated." Credit: Melinda Sue Gordon / Universal Studios