Who will receive the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors?

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 BridgesEllen BurstynMichael CaineGlenn CloseBilly CrystalDoris DayMichael DouglasRobert DuvallSally FieldJane FondaHarrison FordWhoopi GoldbergGene HackmanTom HanksDiane KeatonJessica LangeJerry LewisSophia LorenShirley MacLainePeter O’TooleAl PacinoMickey RooneyDenzel Washington, and Robin Williams.

Among film directors in the running are Woody AllenFrancis Ford CoppolaStanley DonenRon HowardNorman Jewison, and George Lucas.

TV performers in contention include Alan AldaSid CaesarJames GarnerMary Tyler MooreBob NewhartDick Van Dyke, and Betty White.

From the theatre and fine arts, Martina ArroyoCarol ChanningHarvey FiersteinRenee FlemingCynthia GregoryHal HolbrookGarrison KeillorTony KushnerPatti LuPoneDavid MametBernadette PetersChristopher PlummerTim RiceElaine StritchMichael Tilson ThomasLily TomlinTommy Tune, and Pinchas Zukerman.

Rockers under consideration might be CherEric ClaptonGlenn Frey and Don HenleyBarry GibbMick JaggerBilly JoelJerry Lee LewisVan MorrisonPrinceBonnie RaittRod StewartJames TaylorU2, and Neil Young.

Pop and R&B stars could be Burt BacharachJoan BaezAl GreenTom JonesCarole KingGladys KnightPatti LaBelleBarry ManilowJohnny MathisBette MidlerJoni MitchellLionel RichieFrankie Valli, and Dionne Warwick.

For country artists, possibilities are Garth BrooksGlen CampbellVince GillEmmylou HarrisReba McEntireKenny Rogers, and George Strait.

Among all other types of music, consider Shirley CaesarOrnette ColemanAndrae CrouchChick CoreaHerbie HancockAlan MenkenLiza MinnelliEnnio MorriconeRandy Newman, and Allen Toussaint.

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