Not even a room of full of Washington politicians could resist the urge to belt out a classic song.
Smokey Robinson led the audience at the Kennedy Center in a rendition of Neil Diamond‘s ”Sweet Caroline,” and a group of Red Sox fans in attendance joined in, as well. The singing was contagious, and before long, the entire room was belting out the hit, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Diamond, along with Meryl Streep, jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Broadway star Barbara Cook, was honored at the 2011 Kennedy Center Honors, which annually recognizes prominent figures in performing arts.
Bussing 80 Red Sox fans to Washington D.C. for the ceremony was a suprise, orchestrated by Claire Durant, who is Tom Werner’s executive assistant, The Boston Globe reports.
The show was recorded live and will air Dec. 27 on CBS.
“Sweet Caroline” was inspired by Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of former President John F. Kennedy, but Diamond says the song is about him and his ex-wife, according to The Associated Press.
Red Sox fans are very familiar with the song, of course. It’s been a tradition to sing the lyrics in the middle of the eighth inning during home games at Fenway Park. Diamond famously sang the song live at Fenway Park during a game in 2010.
Take a look at the video below to see a few seconds of Robinson’s performance at the ceremony, courtesy of CNN.
Check out the video below to see Diamond’s reaction of being honored at the Kennedy Center.
To hear Diamond singing “Sweet Caroline” at The Greek Theater in the 1970s, watch the video below.