CBS Telecasts the Annual Kennedy Center Honors December 29
By: Ellis Nassour
As everyone’s winding down from midnight and sunrise services and Santa’s visit, on December 29 at 9 P.M., CBS will telecast the annual star-studded, two-hour wrap of the December 8 Kennedy Center Honors with inductions of opera singer Martina Arroyo; pianist, keyboardist, bandleader and composer Herbie Hancock; legendary Grammy-winning pianist, singer/songwriter Billy Joel; Oscar-winning actress Shirley MacLaine; and musician/songwriter and mega-selling recording artist Carlos Santana.. At the 36th annual national celebration, they were recognized for "lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts in dance, music, movies, and TV.
"Martina Arroyo has dazzled the world with her glorious soprano voice," said Kennedy Center chair David Rubenstein. "Herbie Hancock has established himself as one of the world’s most innovative musicians, constantly breaking musical barriers and redefining the art of jazz. What can be said about Billy Joel that hasn’t been repeated numerous times. His melodies have provided the soundtrack of our lives for over four decades making him one pop music’s most prolific singer-songwriters. Onscreen, onstage, and as an author, Shirley MacLaine has left an indelible impression over six decades and garnered millions of worldwide fans. Mexican-American Carlos Santana’s artistry with his band and blues-based guitar pioneered a fusion of rock, Latin, African, and American rhythms."
The honorees were seated with the President Obama and First Lady Michele, who saluted them prior to the ceremony with a gala reception at the White House. On December 7, Secretary of State John Kerry hosted a dinner at the State Department, where the medallions were presented. The Emmy-winning Kennedy Center Honors were written and co-produced by George Stevens, Jr. for the 36th year.
Among the performers and presenters onhand were Kathy Bates, Harry Belafonte, Tony Bennett, Terence Blanchard, Garth Brooks, Chick Corea, Sutton Foster, Buddy Guy, Don Henley, Dave Holland, Anna Kendrick, Patina Miller, Karen Olivo, Bill O’Reilly, Sondra Radvanovsky, Arturo Sandoval, Wayne Shorter, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Rufus Wainwright, and Steve Winwood.
The Peabody Award-winning Kennedy Center Honors has received four consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Television Special. Boeing underwrites celebratory events.
This year, the honoree selection process included recommendation solicitations from the public along with Honors advisory committee and past honorees. Delta Air Lines is the official airline of the Kennedy Center Honors.