- Associated Press - Sunday, December 5, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) —

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton hosted a dinner Saturday at the State Department for the honorees, which comprise dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones, country singer Merle Haggard, TV host Oprah Winfrey, singer and composer Paul McCartney and Broadway composer Jerry Herman.

Entertainers visiting for the event include Julia Roberts, Claire Danes, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and Gwen Stefani. A surprise list of stars will perform for the honorees Sunday night in the Kennedy Center Opera House.

Mrs. Clinton marveled at the diverse group at the dinner. After a week of dealing with the WikiLeaks release of confidential dispatches, Mrs. Clinton joked she is writing a cable about the arts, “which I’m sure you’ll find soon on your closest website.”