The 37th annual Kennedy Center Honors will be honoring pop and soul singer Al Green, actor and producer Tom Hanks, ballerina Patricia McBride, rock and pop star Sting, and comedian Lily Tomlin. The event will take place in Washington, D.C. on December 7.
In announcing the selections on Thursday, Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein said, “Al Green’s iconic voice stirs our souls in a style that is all his own; Tom Hanks has a versatility that ranks him among the greatest actors of any generation; one of the world’s greatest ballerinas, Patricia McBride continues to carry forward her legacy for future generations; Sting’s unique voice and memorable songwriting have entertained audiences for decades; and from the days of her early television and theatrical appearances, Lily Tomlin has made us laugh and continues to amaze us with her acting talent and quick wit.”
The annual tradition holds that Secretary of State John Kerry will host a dinner at the White House on that Saturday night. Then on Sunday, the five artists will be feted at the Kennedy Center and share a box with President Barack Obama.
George Stevens, Jr. and Michael Stevens will produce the program again for CBS, which will air the two-hour show on December 30. “Kennedy Center Honors” has won the Emmy as Best Variety Special five of the past six years. The 2013 edition, which honored Martina Arroyo, Herbie Hancock, Billy Joel, Shirley MacLaine, and Carlos Santana, lost to the “AFI Tribute to Mel Brooks” in that category last month.
The selection process includes recommendations from an advisory committee that includes all living honorees from the past as well as other artists. Some of those participants this year included Glenn Close, Stephen Colbert, Sutton Foster, Hugh Jackman, John Lithgow, Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Christopher Plummer, and Arturo Sandoval.