Kennedy Center Honors, lauding Led Zeppelin, Dustin Hoffman, Buddy Guy, David Letterman and Natalia Makarova, airing tonight
Watch bluesman Buddy Guy, actor Dustin Hoffman, comedian and television host David Letterman, ballerina Natalia Makarova and rock band Led Zeppelin be lauded on the 35th Annual Kennedy Center Honors, broadcasting at 8 tonight on the CBS Television Network. The special has been broadcast on CBS each year since its debut.
In a star-studded celebration on the Kennedy Center Opera House stage, the 2012 honorees were saluted earlier this month by great performers from Hollywood and the arts capitals of the world. Seated with President and Mrs. Obama, the honorees accepted the thanks of their peers and fans through performances and heartfelt tributes, according to a news release.
“With their extraordinary talent, creativity and tenacity, the seven 2012 Kennedy Center Honorees have contributed significantly to the cultural life of our nation and the world,” said Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein in the release. “Buddy Guy is a titan of the blues and has been a tremendous influence on virtually everyone who has picked up an electric guitar in the last half century; Dustin Hoffman’s unyielding commitment to the wide variety of roles he plays has made him one of the most versatile and iconoclastic actors of this or any other generation; David Letterman is one of the most influential personalities in the history of television, entertaining an entire generation of late-night viewers with his unconventional wit and charm; Natalia Makarova’s profound artistry has ignited the stages of the world’s greatest ballet companies and continues to pass the torch to the next generation of dancers; and Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant transformed the sound of rock and roll with their lyricism and innovative song structures, infusing blues into the sound of rock and roll and laying the foundation for countless rock bands.”
The President and Mrs. Obama received the honorees, as well as members of the artists committee who nominate them and the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees, at the White House prior to the gala performance on Dec. 2.
The Honors recipients are recognized for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts – whether in dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures or television – and are selected by the Center’s Board of Trustees. The primary criterion in the selection process is excellence. The Honors are not designated by art form or category of artistic achievement; the selection process, over the years, has produced balance among the various arts and artistic disciplines.