Kennedy Center Honors: 20 Greatest Performances of All Time

Over its first four decades, the annual Kennedy Center Honors event has distinguished itself as one of the best TV programs of each year as well as a highly coveted award for entertainers. Held in Washington, D.C., producers and officials choose five artists to honor each December for the two-hour CBS show. Let’s look back now at our choices as the 20 greatest performances in the program’s history with this photo gallery. Our selections include a high-spirited version of “Proud Mary” by Beyonce for Tina Turner in 2005, the rock group Heart belting out “Stairway to Heaven” for Led Zeppelin in 2012, a cavalcade of comedy stars honoring Carol Burnett in 2003, and Aretha Franklin singing her classic song “Natural Woman” to honor its writer Carole King in 2015.