Martha Argerich, Eagles,
Al Pacino, Mavis Staples, James Taylor
To Receive 39th Annual Kennedy Center Honors
America to Celebrate Honorees' Lifetime Artistic Achievements
Sunday, December 4, 2016
Performance will be broadcast on CBS on December 27, 2016 at 9:00 p.m., ET/PT
The Kennedy Center announced the selection of five Honorees who will receive the 2016 Kennedy Center Honors. Recipients to be honored at the 39th annual national celebration of the arts are: Argentine pianist Martha Argerich, rock band the Eagles, screen and stage actor Al Pacino, gospel and blues singer Mavis Staples, and musician James Taylor.
"The Kennedy Center Honors celebrates the spectacular talents of artists whose brilliance has left a lasting impact on our society," stated Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein.
"Reflecting on the powerful commitments these artists have made to their crafts as well as the cultural contributions they have made over the course of their illustrious careers is a humbling experience," commented Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter.
In a star-studded celebration on the Kennedy Center Opera House stage, produced by Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment, the 2016 Honorees will be saluted by today's leading performers from New York, Hollywood, and the arts capitals of the world. Seated with the President of the United States and Mrs. Obama, the Honorees will accept the recognition and gratitude of their peers through performances and tributes.
The Kennedy Center Honors provide recognition to living individuals who throughout their lifetimes have made significant contributions to American culture through the performing arts. The primary criterion is excellence, and artistic achievement in dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures, and television is considered.
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History of the Kennedy Center Honors
Since its inception in 1978, the Kennedy Center Honors has redefined America's perception of its artistic legacy and reinvented the way this nation rewards its artists. The Honors have been compared to a knighthood in Britain, or the French Legion of Honor--the quintessential reward for a lifetime's endeavor. At the same time, the annual addition of new names to the roster of Honors recipients charts the international standard of excellence set by America's artists, as well as the aesthetic inspiration provided by artists of other nations who have achieved prominence on these shores.
The annual Honors gala is an evening without categories, without disappointments, and without competition. And the Honors telecast, aired during the week between Christmas and New Year's, is a perennial Emmy nominee. It serves for millions of American arts lovers as the year's crowning event, paying tribute to our nation's preeminent artists with performances by the great stars of today who have followed in their footsteps.
The complete list of guest performers is kept secret until the show is in progress, keeping both the Honorees and the nation on the edge of their seats.
Throughout the years, the Kennedy Center Honors has upheld a tradition of recognizing the lifelong accomplishments and extraordinary talents of our nations' most-prestigious artists. Find out more about past Honorees by clicking on a name below.