Then President Bush also called Estefan in the hospital following a tour bus crash that almost left the singer paralyzed.
Last year's Kennedy Center Honors ceremony was almost overshadowed by controversy surrounding the sitting president. This year's event took place in the shadow of the death of a former commander-in-chief.
Sunday night's ceremony honoring lifetime artistic achievement featured multiple tributes to former President George H.W. Bush, who died Friday night at age 94.
The night kicked off with an extended standing ovation in Bush's memory at the request of hostess Gloria Estefan.
"I think it's appropriate to recognize the passing of a wonderful man who dedicated his life to service and who graciously attended this event many times during his administration, laughing, applauding, singing along and even shedding a tear from right up there in the presidential box," said Estefan, who recalled being invited to the White House and how Bush "literally spent 45 minutes patiently talking to my eight-year-old son" about how the government worked.