Billy Joel, Shirley MacLaine and Carlos Santana to receive Kennedy Centre Honours.

The three stars will be celebrated at a gala in the John F Kennedy Centre for Performing Arts in Washington DC on December 15th.

Herbie Hancock and opera star Martina Arroyo will also be honoured on the night.

Joel reacted to the news of his honour by saying, "I'm truly honoured to be named a Kennedy Centre honouree along with the other esteemed artists named this year."

He continued, "And to have my name added to the illustrious roaster of outstanding musicians that have already been so honoured is very meaningful to me. But to be chosen for this special award essentially for doing what I love most amazes me more than anything."

Previous honourees include Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman, Led Zeppelin, Neil Diamond and Oprah Winfrey.