This year's Kennedy Center Honors featured multiple tributes to former President George H.W. Bush, who died Friday night.
"I think it's appropriate to recognize the passing of a wonderful man who dedicated his life to service and who graciously attended this event many times during his administration, laughing, applauding, singing along and even shedding a tear from right up there in the presidential box," said host Gloria Estefan, who led an extended standing ovation in Bush's memory.
For the second year in a row, President Donald Trump declined an invitation to the awards, which will be televised Dec. 26.
This year's honorees for lifetime achievements in the arts were Cher, composer Philip Glass, country music legend Reba McEntire and jazz icon Wayne Shorter. An unprecedented special award went to the co-creators of "Hamilton" — Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail, Andy Blankenbuehler and Alex Lacamoire — for their genre-bending musical.
Glass received his tribute from a fellow Kennedy Center Honors recipient: singer-songwriter Paul Simon. "He can rightfully be described as one of our greatest modern composers," Simon said.
Whoopi Goldberg kicked off a tribute to Cher in a flowing sparkly gown that she joked came from the pop music icon's closet. "She is the true original," Goldberg said. "She not only marched to the beat of her own drum — honey, she is a one-woman band!"
Hootie and 'Weird Al' coming to the fair
The Minnesota State Fair announced its first two grandstand concerts for 2019 on Monday — Hootie & the Blowfish and "Weird Al" Yankovic. The band will return to the grandstand on Thursday, Aug. 22, as part of its first tour in more than a decade. Hootie and crew will be touting a new album on the coyly titled Group Therapy Tour, featuring fellow '90s hitmakers the Barenaked Ladies as openers. Weird Al, who has played the fair grandstand a weirdly high number of times already, is coming back on Tuesday, Aug. 27. He will be performing with a full orchestra on his Strings Attached Tour.
Queen with Lambert coming to the X
The remaining members of Queen will return to worldwide stages with their new singer next summer, including Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Aug. 10. Guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor and their modern Queen lineup will once again tour with Adam Lambert. They just completed a 10-show run in Vegas with the "American Idol" alum and have now announced a 23-city North American run starting in late July, an outing they're calling the Rhapsody Tour to echo the title of both their most revered hit and this year's hit biopic on the late Freddie Mercury, "Bohemian Rhapsody."
CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER and AP