2021 Kennedy Center Honors: Complete list of performers and presenters

The 2021 Kennedy Center Honors returned to their traditional home and December slot on Sunday night in Washington, D.C. The honorees for the 44th annual event celebrating the arts were Justino Diaz, Berry Gordy, Lorne Michaels, Bette Midler and Joni Mitchell. After four years of no presidential involvement, President Joe Biden was seated with the honorees in the balcony box. The ceremony will be broadcast by CBS on Wednesday, December 22.

Here is the complete list of performers and presenters to be seen on the two-hour program hosted by previous KCH recipient David Letterman. Past honoree Yo-Yo Ma opened the program with “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Producers might alter the order as presented to the in-person audience.

JONI MITCHELL (singer and songwriter):

Presenters are Cameron Crowe, Dan Levy

“Case of You” and medley performed by Norah Jones

“Big Yellow Taxi” performed by Ellie Goulding

“River” performed by Brandi Carlile

“Both Sides Now” performed by Brittany Howard and Herbie Hancock

JUSTINO DIAZ (opera singer)

Presenters are Grace Bumbry, Denyse Graves, Chita Rivera

Toreador song from “Carmen” performed by Denyse Graves, Hannah Shea, Christian Van Horn, Ariana Wehr

Finale from “Faust” performed by Anna Maria Martinez, Matthew Polenzani, Christian Van Horn

“En Mi Viejo San Juan” performed by his daughters Katya and Natascia

LORNE MICHAELS (creator of “Saturday Night Live”):

Presenter is Steve Martin

“Weekend Update” with Michael Che and Colin Jost

“Weekend Update” with Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler

“Weekend Update” with Kevin Nealon

Other presenters are Jimmy Fallon, Kate McKinnon, Kenan Thompson, Kristen Wiig

“America” performed by Paul Simon

BETTE MIDLER (singer and actress)

Presented by Goldie Hawn, Barbara Hershey, Scarlett Johansson, Melissa Manchester

Film narration by Adele

“You Gotta Have Friends” performed by “Hello, Dolly!” cast members Kate Baldwin, Beanie Feldstein, Taylor Trensch

“Wind Beneath My Wings” performed by Kelli O’Hara

“From a Distance” performed by Billy Porter

BERRY GORDY (Motown founder)

Presenter is Smokey Robinson

Film narration by Oprah Winfrey

“Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” segment performed by Broadway cast

Performances by Andra Day, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder

“Higher Ground” performed by Stevie Wonder and many others

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