Beach Boys singer Brian Wilson and pianist Leon Fleisher were also among the celebrities to be presented with the honor--the highest accolade for an American performer or artist--by President George W. Bush at the White House this weekend.
Ross, 63, was praised for spreading "romance and joy throughout the world" with her voice; Wilson was hailed for his "era-defining transformation of the sound of music"; and Fleisher was celebrated for a career that is a "moving testament to the life-affirming power of art."
The Departed filmmaker Scorsese was honored for being a "fearless artist" and a "visionary," while funnyman Martin was branded a "renaissance comic whose talents wipe out the boundaries between artistic disciplines."
The presentations will be followed by a gala at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., on Sunday evening.
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