The Kennedy Center Honors will celebrate the careers of Gloria Estefan, LL Cool J, Norman Lear, Lionel Richie, and Carmen de Lavallade this December in Washington, D.C. Officials announced these five recipients on Thursday. It’s the 40th anniversary of the event in 2017 honoring entertainment artists for their life achievements of impacting American culture.
Estefan has won seven Grammy Awards as a singer and songwriter and part of the Latino musical group Miami Sound Machine. LL Cool J is a two-time Grammy winning hip hop artist who has hosted that ceremony on CBS many times and now stars on “NCIS: Los Angeles.” Lear is one of the most popular and prolific television producers, with such hit projects as “All in the Family,” “Maude,” “Good Times,” “The Jeffersons,” and “One Day at a Time.” Richie is an Oscar and Grammy winning singer and songwriter who started his career with the R&B group The Commodores. de Lavallade is well known as one of the top dancers and choreographers of the past few decades.
Veteran producer George Stevens, Jr. founded the ceremony for CBS in 1978 with honorees Marian Anderson, Fred Astaire, George Balanchine, Richard Rodgers, and Arthur Rubinstein. Stevens was its leader through the 2014 event with honorees Al Green, Tom Hanks, Patricia McBride, Sting, and Lily Tomlin.
Tony Awards producers Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss took over the program in 2015 with honorees Carole King, George Lucas, Rita Moreno, Seiji Ozawa, and Cicely Tyson. The most recent event in 2016 celebrated the careers of Martha Argerich, Eagles, Al Pacino, Mavis Staples, and James Taylor.
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