Tom Hanks, Sting, soul legend Al Green and actress Lily Tomlin are set to be feted at the 2014 Kennedy Center Honors.

Ballerina Patricia MCBride will also be honoured by U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle at the 37th annual ceremony, which will take place in Washington, D.C. on 7 December (14).

Announcing this year's honorees, Kennedy Center chairman David M. Rubenstein says, "The Kennedy Center celebrates five extraordinary individuals who have spent their lives elevating the cultural vibrancy of our nation and the world.

"Al Green's iconic voice stirs our souls in a style that is all his own; Tom Hanks has a versatility that ranks him among the greatest actors of any generation; one of the world's greatest ballerinas, Patricia MCBride, continues to carry forward her legacy for future generations; Sting's unique voice and memorable songwriting have entertained audiences for decades, and, from the days of her early television and theatrical appearances, Lily Tomlin has made us laugh and continues to amaze us with her acting talent and quick wit."

Carlos Santana, jazz great Herbie Hancock, Billy Joel and actress Shirley MAClaine were among last year's (13) honorees.