Kennedy Center Honors!
We were at the annual, star-studded Kennedy Center Honors on Sunday, now in its 39th year, to honor exceptional American performing artists for their lifetime contributions to American culture.
The 2016 honorees: Argentine pianist Martha Argerich, the Eagles, screen and stage actor Al Pacino, gospel and blues singer Mavis Staples and musician James Taylor. All were saluted at a gala performance at the Opera House attended by President and Mrs. Obama, a tradition that has lasted through six presidencies. Hosted by comedian Stephen Colbert, politics were not off limits; he joked that next year’s honorees will include Scott Baio, Gary Busey and Meat Loaf [under Trump’s command].
Earlier in the day, President Obama welcomed the honorees at a reception at The White House, and said participating in the gala was one of the perks of the job that he is really going to miss. Here, honoree actor Al Pacino and his girlfriend, Lucila Sola.
The tribute was impressive with honoree’s cohorts doting on their accolades, like Bill Clinton, who made a surprise appearance on stage to honor Taylor's music. Honoree James Taylor is flanked here by his wife, Caroline Smedvig, and sons Henry and Rufus.
Al Pacino's tribute both honored and roasted him, including remarks by Sean Penn and career impersonations from Kevin Spacey.
The evening paid homage to the honored musicians with extraordinary performances by Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Darius Rucker, Elle King, Bonnie Raitt, Andra Day, and so many more.
An announcement was made this week that, through a new agreement, the Honors will broadcast on CBS through 2025, making it one of the longest broadcast partnerships in television history. This year’s show will air Dec. 27. Honoree, gospel and blues singer Mavis Staples.