Watch highlights from 2019, including interviews with the performers and reactions from the honorees.
The 2019 Honorees
Earth, Wind & Fire, Sally Field, Linda Ronstadt, Sesame Street, and Michael Tilson Thomas
“The Kennedy Center Honors celebrates icons who, through their artistry, have left an indelible stamp on our collective cultural consciousness,” stated Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein. “Earth, Wind & Fire’s hooks and grooves are the foundation of a seminal style that continues to shape our musical landscape; Sally Field has brought us unforgettable characters, both joyous and poignant, for more than five decades; Linda Ronstadt is the defining voice of a generation, spanning genres, languages, and continents; Sesame Street continues to revolutionize how children and adults learn about our world; and Michael Tilson Thomas goes far beyond keeping score: he has shaped American music and musical institutions for the 21st century.”
History of the Kennedy Center Honors
Throughout its 40-year history, 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.
Terms and Conditions
All events and artists subject to change without prior notice.
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