Sally Field, Linda Ronstadt and the disco-funk band Earth, Wind & Fire are the latest group of recipients of Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime achievements in the arts.

Also in this year's class are conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and long-running children's TV show "Sesame Street." (picture above shows full class.)

Once again, the attendance of President Donald Trump had been an open question until the White House said Friday that neither he nor First Lady Melania Trump would attend. Trump skipped the past two celebrations; in 2017, after multiple recipients threatened to boycott the event if he attended.

Hours before Sunday's ceremony, the Sesame Workshop announced that Caroll Spinney, who gave Big Bird his warmth and Oscar the Grouch his growl for nearly 50 years on "Sesame Street," died at 85 at his home in Connecticut.

The co-founders of "Sesame Street," Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett, accepted the award on behalf of the show.

That's for you, Dad

With the crash of a bottle against its hull, the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy was christened Saturday at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia. Caroline Kennedy, the late president's daughter, did the honors as ship's sponsor. It marked the second time she christened an aircraft carrier in her father's name. The first one named for JFK served through Vietnam and into the post-9/11 era. Caroline Kennedy, then a child, launched that ship in 1967.

Rapper dies unexpectedly in Chicago

Rapper Juice WRLD, who launched his career on SoundCloud before becoming a streaming juggernaut and rose to the top of the charts with the hit "Lucid Dreams," died Sunday after a "medical emergency" at Chicago's Midway Airport. The rapper, whose legal name was Jarad A. Higgins, was 21. An autopsy is likely on Monday. The artist was named top new artist at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards in May. His hit "Lucid Dreams," which heavily samples Sting's 1993 song "Shape of My Heart," was a six-time platinum success, and it reached No. 1 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Rap Songs charts.

News Services