Outspoken democrat Barbra Streisand kept the peace as she graciously accepted a top honour from US President George W Bush – insisting the award ceremony should “transcend politics”.
Streisand was on hand as one of the latest recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors for her achievements in performing arts.
The singer has been an outspoken opponent of Bush throughout his two terms in the White House, once describing him as “an alien sent here to destroy the Earth”.
Streisand was greeted by Bush for a reception before a tribute concert at the Kennedy Performing Arts Center.
Accepting the prestigious honour, she said: “Art transcends politics this weekend.”
Later asked if she would have preferred President-elect Barack Obama as the host of the event, she told reporters: “That would have been lovely… or (former President, Bill) Clinton.”
Other recipients recognised at the 31st annual ceremonies included actor Morgan Freeman, The Who stars Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, country singer George Jones and dancer/choreographer Twyla Tharp.
The awards show will air in the US on 30 December.
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