Actress Meryl Streep who portrayed former prime minister Margaret Thatcher in the biopic "The Iron Lady", and singer Neil Diamond are among those who bagged this year's Kennedy Center Honors.

Musicians Yo-Yo Ma and Sonny Rollins and actress Barbara Cook will also receive honours at the annual event that celebrates America's most accomplished performers. The star-studded ceremony, where the artists share one of the highest achievements in the arts, is one of the highlights of the Washington cultural year. The event will be broadcast on CBS on Dec. 27 at 9 pm.

"This year, the Kennedy Center celebrates its 40th anniversary by selecting five extraordinary individuals whose collective artistry has contributed significantly to the cultural life of our nation and the world," said Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein.

Here are some of the highlights of the event: