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This morning, the Kennedy Center announced the recipients of the 2011 Kennedy Center Honors. Barbara Cook, Neil Diamond, Sonny Rollins, Meryl Streep, and Yo-Yo Ma will be honored in a presidential ceremony and gala on December 4. The gala will be broadcast on CBS Dec. 27.

What does Diamond have to say about all this? “I have the best job in the world,” he told the New York Times. “And as long as I’m strong and healthy, I’m going to do that.”

Streep said in a statement, “I am deeply honored by this news, and wish my mother and father were alive to hear it!” She added, “All that education, allowance, tuition, voice lessons, summer jobs, scholarship application deadlines and loving care and discipline—-all that they gave me, bore fruit in a way they never dreamed. I am so grateful!”

Cook, host of the Barbara Cook Spotlight series at Kennedy Center, said she was “gobsmacked” when she heard the news.

The Times has the rest.