Actor and comedian Billy Crystal, British singer-songwriter, producer, and Bee Gees member Barry Gibb, rapper, singer, and actress Queen Latifah, and singers Dionne Warwick and Renée Fleming will receive the 46th Kennedy Center Honors for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.
On December 3, the group will be recognized in a star-studded celebration on the stage of the Kennedy Center Opera House by leading artists from New York, Hollywood and the art capitals of the world.
“This year’s slate represents an extraordinary mix of people who have redefined their art forms and demonstrated remarkable tenacity and authenticity in becoming originals,” Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter said in a statement. “Each of them has explored new terrain, pushed artistic boundaries, and most importantly, committed to sharing their gifts with the world.”
The Kennedy Center Honors recognize artists who have made profound contributions to the cultural life of the nation. Each year, honorees are confirmed by the executive committee of the John F. Kennedy Center’s board of trustees. Honors are not designated by art form or category of artistic achievement.
Crystal said he’s “overwhelmed to be a part of this fantastic group of artists.”
“I started acting when I was five years old, making my parents and family laugh. Those laughs have carried me my entire life and career. I wish they could be at the Kennedy Center for this glorious occasion,” she said. “It has been an exciting life performing on so many different stages and my heart is full of gratitude to the Kennedy Center, my wife Janice, my children and grandchildren, our family and friends, and all the amazing people I have had the chance to be with. pleasure to work with. And finally, of course, my wonderful fans.”
Fleming said it is “exciting to join the company of legendary artists who have received this recognition” and that the award “demonstrates the richness and variety of the performing arts in our country, and the Kennedy Center celebration is a powerful expression of our culture. . .”
“Music has defined the arc of my life, giving voice to an introverted child, taking me to places I never dreamed of visiting and people I never dreamed of meeting. Most of all, it has shown me the enormous potential for healing and joy that the arts offer everyone,” she added. “Having looked in awe at the honorees in that box at the Kennedy Center Opera House, I am incredibly grateful to think that I will be among them.”
Gibb said the honor is “one of the most special moments of my life and something I will always treasure.”
“When I think back over 50 years to our beginnings in Redcliffe, Queensland, I could never have expected this to happen in my lifetime. Receiving Kennedy Center honors is something everyone hopes will happen one day,” he continued. “I have often thought but never dreamed that it could come true. Thanks to everyone who made this dream come true. I wish my brothers were here so I could share this special moment.”
Latifah, known as the First Lady of Hip Hop, said she is “honored to be included in this incredible list of artists.”
“When we started this journey decades ago, we were often told ‘No.’ No, you will not be able to leave New Jersey. No, if you rap you can’t sing. No, singers can’t become actresses. No, the actors can’t produce either,” she said. “To now be recognized among so many multi-writers feels amazing, not just for me and my team, but for our community. The work that the Kennedy Center does is immeasurable, so I am beyond grateful for this recognition.”
Warwick said she is “exceptionally happy to be honored by the Kennedy Center Honors.”
“It is very exciting to be recognized for my contributions to the music industry over the last 60 years,” she added.
Former Kennedy Center honoree Gloria Estefan will return to host the special for the third time, which will air on the CBS Television Network and Paramount+.
Paramount+ Premium subscribers will have access to the live stream via their local CBS affiliate’s live feed on the service, as well as on-demand. Essential-level subscribers will not have the option to stream live, but will have on-demand access the day after the special broadcast.
The special is 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.