John Lennon (upper left) of The Beatles

Paul McCartney, Oprah Winfrey and three other performers will be able to just relax and still get the applause.   All because The Kennedy Center has chosen them as their honorees for this year.  The other recipients are musician-songwriter Merle Haggard, composer-lyricist Jerry Herman and dancer-choreographer Bill T. Jones.

Herman is a composer and lyricist associated with Hello, Dolly!, Mame, La Cage aux Folles and other Broadway successes.   Jones co-started the  Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.

“Wowie gazowie,” Winfrey reportedly said when hearing the news.  One might think that outlaw country singer Haggard would’ve said something unprintable but instead was quoted saying that the award was a “nice kick in the stomach.”

All will be honored at a televised celebration at the Kennedy Center on Dec. 5.

In case you needed to know, Paul McCartney is on the top right of the photos.