The six artists were recognized during the 31st Kennedy Center Honors for their various contributions to film, music, dance and theater.
Caroline Kennedy was the host of the evening of tributes to the honorees.
The night's performers and presenters included Beyonce, Jack Black, Garth Brooks, Glenn Close, Chris Cornell, Clint Eastwood, Honeyboy Edwards, Marcelo Gomes, Dave Grohl, Nathan Gunn, Alan Jackson, B.B. King and Bettye Lavette.
Also making appearances at the star-studded gala were Shelby Lynne, Idina Menzel, Ne-Yo, Kelli O'Hara, Brad Paisley, Luciana Paris, Pinetop Perkins, Queen Latifah, Joss Stone, Koko Taylor, Rob Thomas, Lily Tomlin, Randy Travis and Denzel Washington.
President George W. Bush, first lady Laura Bush, Vice President Richard B. Cheney
and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice were among the political attendees.
The event is to air as an entertainment special Dec. 30 on the CBS Television Network.