The Kennedy Center Honors, which recognizes achievements by Americans in the arts, recently honored leaders in music, Broadway, and film, including songwriter Carole King, filmmaker George Lucas, actress and singer Rita Moreno, conductor Seiji Ozawa, and actress Cicely Tyson.
“Quite simply, our Honorees represent the voices, soundtracks, and stories of our personal lives and memories,” said Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein.
“When I look at this year’s outstanding slate of Honorees, I am struck by a powerful common theme — artists as history makers, artists who defy both convention and category,” commented Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter.
Gospel sensation CeCe Winans serenaded Tyson for her honor in her more than 40 years in entertainment, from Broadway to film roles.
Soul icon Aretha Franklin was also part of a star-studded roster of singers who paid homage to honorees to an audience that included President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Other celebrity attendees included Kerry Washington, Viola Davis, Valerie Jarrett, and Mellody Hobson.