The Kennedy Center Honors is an award ceremony that recognizes the lifetime achievements of five (or six) incredibly esteemed artists. From dancers to singers to composers, this ceremony aims to cover a wide span of art forms and their masters.
This year the list consists of singer and songwriter Carole King, filmmaker George Lucas, The Eagles (the American rock band), actresses Rita Moreno and Cicely Tyson and conductor Seiji Ozawa.
The reactions of those who were selected for this year’s honors ceremony range from disbelief to excitement.
King, 73, said, “I’m humbled and grateful to accept I’ve been very lucky to be able to do the work I love for so many years. And it’s even more rewarding to know that what I do has touched the lives of so many people.”
She has had about 100 hit singles and has written music that has been performed by over 1,000 artists. She became famous as a singer, herself, with her second album Tapestry (1971), which Rolling Stone called one of the best albums of all time back in 2003.
Ozawa, 79, the Japanese conductor who led the Boston Symphony for almost 30 years also expressed his excitement when he said, “It was a big surprise, and I am super-happy and honored.”
We are also particularly excited for Rita Moreno’s tribute, as the Kennedy Center did not honor any Hispanic artists last year, much to the disappointment of fans across the country.
Moreno is one of the rare few that has won all four major awards in show business: A Grammy, a Tony, an Emmy, and an Oscar! Her most famous performance was probably in film, as Anita in West Side Story. The performance won her the Oscar.
Perhaps the most unique response comes from film producer and director, George Lucas, who pointed out that getting this recognition, “sobers you up, to realize you’re at the point where they’re honoring your body of work.”
Instead of simply feeling honored, he brings up the strange (yet completely accurate) reality, “It’s frightening and daunting to realize you’ve reached the state of life that these are the honors you get.”
This years 38th annual Kennedy Center Honors is also important because it will have new producers for the first time since 1978.
Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss, the new producers, plan on following tradition with the general outline of the ceremony, however, we’re excited (and a little bit nervous) to see what they might change!
The 2015 Kennedy Center Honors will air on CBS on December 29.
Tell us, which tributes are you most excited to see?