Recording artist Gloria Estefan expressed sincere appreciation over President Donald Trump skipping the 40th Annual Kennedy Center Honors held Sunday in Washington, D.C.
The Cuban-American singer was asked by TMZ to comment on Trump not attending, the first time in more than 20 years that a president did so, as she arrived Monday at Reagan National Airport.
“You know what I am thankful that he [Trump] did that,” Estefan replied. “Because it took away controversy from the mix.”
Controversy that has a much to do with the acute paranoia of the president’s critics as it does his actions.
“And you have somebody like Norman Lear that’s 95 and has worked his whole life to get that award,” she said. “To get it mixed up with the stuff that has nothing to do with the reason we are all there…It was nice of the president to give us that. That was a very nice thing to do.”
Estefan was honored at the annual celebration of artistic excellence, along with Lionel Richie and rapper LL Cool J. Norman Lear, the acclaimed television producer and fierce Trump critic was also honored, as was choreographer Carmen de Lavallade.
The superstar said the best part of the whole evening was when her daughter, Emily Estefan, performed.
“It doesn’t get better than that,” she told TMZ. “That was absolutely mind-blowing.”
President Trump announced in August he would not be attending — other presidents who have skipped the award show include Jimmy Carter in 1979, George H.W. Bush in 1989 and Bill Clinton in 1994.
“The President and First Lady have decided not to participate in this year’s activities to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction,” a statement from the White House read at the time. “First Lady Melania Trump, along with her husband President Donald J. Trump, extend their sincerest congratulations and well wishes to all of this year’s award recipients for their many accomplishments.”
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