Congratulations to the “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” singer!
Music icon Gloria Estefan further cemented her legacy by becoming the first Cuban American to receive the Kennedy Center Honors award, as NBC News reports. The 60-year-old awarded the prestigious honor at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, alongside fellow honorees Lionel Richie, Carmen de Lavallade, Norman Lear, and LL Cool J—who also made history as the first rapper to be honored at the event (via E! News).
As the news network notes, the award is given to “recipients in the performing arts who spend their lifetime contributing to American Culture.”
After receiving her award from actress Rita Moreno, Estefan delivered a moving acceptance speech (via Instagram). “Every one of the honorees in this room, in their own beautiful way and by putting their lives as examples, and as beautiful ways of expressing through music, through art, through the film, through dance, who we are in this country,” stated Estefan, who fled to the United States from Cuba in the late 1950s. “And we are that amazing tapestry of so many colors and vibrant backgrounds and religions. That’s what makes this country great because when you weave those things together, it’s just such a strong force. And we need to keep that alive.”