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Dionne Warwick Named Kennedy Center Honoree

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has selected the 46th Honorees for lifetime artistic achievements: actor and comedian Billy Crystal; acclaimed soprano Renée Fleming; British singer-songwriter producer, and member of the Bee Gees, Barry Gibb; rapper, singer, and actress Queen Latifah; and singer Dionne Warwick.

Dionne Warwick (singer)

Lifetime Grammy® music legend, Dionne Warwick continues to regale audiences internationally to this day. From the early 1960s on, her iconic sound set the bar in American pop music by earning more than 60 charted hit songs and selling over 100 million records. She has done more than entertain the world; as a humanitarian, she has advocated for global well-being through such efforts as AIDS awareness.

After teaming with renowned songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David, her first major release in 1962, “Don’t Make Me Over,” kicked off 18 more consecutive Top 100 singles. By the 1970s Warwick made the top of the pop charts with “Then Came You,” a million-selling duet with The Spinners in 1974. After a label switch to Arista Records, she entered her third decade of hit-making with a Platinum-selling album, Dionne, produced by Barry Manilow with its back-to-back hits “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” and “Déjà Vu.”

In using music to support her activism, Warwick performed in the all-star charity single, “We Are the World.” She also made recording history with Gladys Knight, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder with “That’s What Friends Are For,” a number one hit from 1985 and the first recording dedicated to raising awareness for AIDS.

Twenty-plus years into the new century, Warwick continues to blaze the trail as the crowned Queen Of Twitter thanks to her constant communication on social media. She also made a surprise appearance on Saturday Night Live, which has been running “The Dionne Warwick Talk Show” skit for a few seasons. An upcoming Gospel album is in the works which features duets with Dolly Parton (“Peace Like A River”) and son/manager/producer Damon Elliott (“I Kneel”).

Recent Kennedy Center history:  Dionne Warwick has made cast appearances at two prior Kennedy Center Honors, paying tribute to Lena Horne (1984) and Elizabeth Taylor (2002). Beyond Honors, Warwick has performed five times at the Kennedy Center since 1984, including as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra Pops in 1998.