The five honorees who will receive the 46th Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime artistic achievements in December are Tony-nominated actor and comedian Billy Crystal (Mr. Saturday Night); acclaimed soprano and Tony-nominated actor Renée Fleming (Carousel); British singer-songwriter, producer, and member of the Bee Gees, Barry Gibb (Saturday Night Fever); rapper, singer, and actor Queen Latifah; and Grammy-winning singer Dionne Warwick.
Former Kennedy Center Honoree Gloria Estefan will return to host the December 3 celebration at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The 46th class of Kennedy Center Honorees will be saluted by performers from New York, Hollywood, and the arts capitals of the world, and the evening will be filmed for subsequent TV broadcast. The 46th annual Kennedy Center Honors, which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip hop, will air on CBS and stream on Paramount+ on a date to be announced.
“The Kennedy Center Honors recognizes artists who have made profound contributions to the cultural life of our nation,” says Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein. “A true comedic icon and multi-talented artist since the 1980s who has kept millions laughing around the world, Billy Crystal is responsible for some of the most memorable stand-up moments and hilarious Hollywood scenes in the last half-century; Barry Gibb, along with his late brothers Robin and Maurice, set the music world on fire in the ‘60s and later defined the modern dance era with their trademark falsetto sound and groove style, becoming a pop superstar group for the ages; fittingly known as ‘America’s soprano,’ the beloved opera star Renée Fleming has captivated audiences worldwide with her luminous voice, incomparable artistry, and a knack for bringing opera into the mainstream for more than four decades; as the ‘First Lady of Hip Hop,’ Queen Latifah shaped and innovated the art form in its earliest days, representing Black women everywhere and using the idiom to become a powerful voice for change; and soulful songstress Dionne Warwick has blazed a trail with her signature voice, scintillating presence, and trove of hits that has become a soundtrack of inspiration for generations of artists and audiences.”
year’s slate represents an extraordinary mix of individuals who have
redefined their art forms and demonstrated remarkable tenacity and
authenticity in becoming an original. Each of them has explored new
terrain, stretched artistic boundaries, and most importantly, committed
to sharing their gifts with the world,” adds Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter. “This
year we pay special tribute to the 50th anniversary of hip hop, a
uniquely American culture whose constant evolution is one of enduring
relevance and impact, reflecting our society as it has grown into an
international phenomenon. Hip hop has been an important, thriving art
form here at the Center
for a number of years; what a privilege it is to bestow an Honors to
the First Lady of Hip Hop who has inspired us along the way.”
The Kennedy Center
Honors recognizes individuals whose unique
contributions have had an impact on the rich tapestry of
American life and culture through the performing arts, whether in music, dance, theatre, opera, motion pictures, or television.
Last year's honorees included the Irish rock band U2, which includes Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr.; Grammy-winning soul, gospel, R&B, and pop icon Gladys Knight; actor and filmmaker George Clooney; contemporary Christian and pop singer-songwriter Amy Grant; and Cuban-born American composer, conductor, and educator Tania León.
The 46th annual Kennedy Center
Honors will be produced by Done+Dusted in association with ROK
Productions, represented by Elizabeth Kelly, who will executive produce
alongside David Jammy. The show will be directed by Alex Rudzinski.