The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., selected and celebrated its 45th annual honorees for their “lifetime artistic achievements” on Sunday, Dec. 4.
Each year, the Kennedy Center chooses a number of high-profile artists across numerous mediums to honor for their contributions to society.
This year’s honorees included critically acclaimed actor George Clooney; Christian and pop singer-songwriter Amy Grant; renowned multi-genre singer Gladys Knight; Cuban-born American composer and conductor Tania León; and famed Irish rock band U2, whose members include Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr.
“For nearly a half-century, the Kennedy Center Honors has represented the very best of America’s creative culture. The Honors is often referred to by past recipients as the pinnacle of awards because it recognizes not just one performance, album, or film, but esteems an artist’s cumulative body of work and influence over many decades,” Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter said in a press release. “This level of distinction is important. Through this holistic viewpoint, each year’s Honorees add another layer to the complex and inspiring collage of artists that together tell the story of our collective contribution to global culture.”
“I’m humbled beyond words to be included amongst this prestigious group of individuals, both past and present. You could never have told me as a young girl starting my career that I would be honored on a stage such as this, with artists and humanitarians such as these—it just wouldn’t have seemed possible. It would have been the dream of all dreams,” Knight said in a statement. “I have been blessed with so much in my life and this certainly stands with those achievements at the top of that list. To be honored as a Kennedy Center Honoree is among the highlights of my career.”
The Kennedy Center honors will be televised on CBS and available for streaming on Paramount+ at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 28.
For more information, please visit kennedy-center.org.