Recipients for the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors will be announced shortly after Labor Day. Which famous entertainers are most likely to be included in this annual celebration of the arts? The five chosen will be celebrated at the White House and with a special concert at the Kennedy Center in early December. The honorees are always an eclectic group covering a variety of disciplines, including film, television, popular music, theatre, dance, and/or the fine arts.
Last year, various advocacy groups pointed out that only two Hispanics — Placido Domingo (2000) and Chita Rivera (2002) — numbered among the 185 people feted to date. The Kennedy Centers Honors is expanding the selection process by welcoming suggestions from the public.
Rivera is part of a new committee that will winnow down the list of potential recipients from 20 to 10. Joining her are 2011 honoree Yo Yo Ma; opera singer Harolyn Blackwell and ballet dancer Damian Woetzel who sit on the Artist Committee; and board members Cappy McGarr and Elaine Wynn. The Artist Committee, which comes up with the original list of 20, has been expanded as well to ensure the broadest of representation. And the public can petition the committee with their choices.
However, even with these new mechanisms in place, the five honorees still will be determined by the executive committee of the Kennedy Center board of trustees who will decide based on the recommendations of the Center chair, president and the producers of the kudocast who willl cull from this list of 10 possibilities.
Who are strongest possibilities among the Latino community to make the cut? EGOT winner Rita Moreno would be worthy, but since she receives the Screen Actors Guild life achievement award the following month, the Kennedy Center might delay her to another year. Rock guitarist Carlos Santana and jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval are very likely. Actor Ruben Blades and Edward James Olmos, singer Gloria Estefan, and playwright Luis Valdez are also possible.
Beyond this, possible film stars to be chosen include Jeff Bridges, Ellen Burstyn, Michael Caine, Glenn Close, Billy Crystal, Doris Day, Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall, Sally Field, Jane Fonda, Harrison Ford, Whoopi Goldberg, Gene Hackman, Tom Hanks, Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, Jerry Lewis, Sophia Loren, Shirley MacLaine, Peter O’Toole, Al Pacino, Mickey Rooney, Denzel Washington, and Robin Williams.
Among film directors in the running are Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola, Stanley Donen, Ron Howard, Norman Jewison, and George Lucas.
From the theatre and fine arts, Martina Arroyo, Carol Channing, Harvey Fierstein, Renee Fleming, Cynthia Gregory, Hal Holbrook, Garrison Keillor, Tony Kushner, Patti LuPone, David Mamet, Bernadette Peters, Christopher Plummer, Tim Rice, Elaine Stritch, Michael Tilson Thomas, Lily Tomlin, Tommy Tune, and Pinchas Zukerman.
Rockers under consideration might be Cher, Eric Clapton, Glenn Frey and Don Henley, Barry Gibb, Mick Jagger, Billy Joel, Jerry Lee Lewis, Van Morrison, Prince, Bonnie Raitt, Rod Stewart, James Taylor, U2, and Neil Young.
Pop and R&B stars could be Burt Bacharach, Joan Baez, Al Green, Tom Jones, Carole King, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Barry Manilow, Johnny Mathis, Bette Midler, Joni Mitchell, Lionel Richie, Frankie Valli, and Dionne Warwick.
For country artists, possibilities are Garth Brooks, Glen Campbell, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers, and George Strait.
Among all other types of music, consider Shirley Caesar, Ornette Coleman, Andrae Crouch, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Alan Menken, Liza Minnelli, Ennio Morricone, Randy Newman, and Allen Toussaint.
The 2012 ceremony celebrated the careers of bluesman Buddy Guy, film actor Dustin Hoffman, rockers Led Zeppelin, talk show host David Letterman, and ballet star Natalia Makarova. The program is a strong frontrunner to win a fifth straight Emmy as Best Variety Special next month.
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