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ݮƵѰapp Honors

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ݮƵѰapp Honors

Celebrating the 46th Honorees

Meet this season’s phenomenal artists, preview the event, and see amazing performances honoring their peers from past shows.

Meet the Honorees

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has selected the 46th Honorees for lifetime artistic achievements: actor and comedian Billy Crystal; acclaimed soprano Renée Fleming; British singer-songwriter producer, and member of the Bee Gees, Barry Gibb; rapper, singer, and actress Queen Latifah; and singer Dionne Warwick.

The gala event takes place Sunday, December 3, 2023, and will be hosted by previous Honoree Gloria Estefan. The show will air Wednesday, December 27 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network and stream on Paramount+.

Billy Crystal

Billy Crystal

“I am overwhelmed to be part of this fantastic group of artists. I started performing when I was five years old, making my parents and family laugh. Those laughs have carried me my entire life and career. I so wish they could be at the Kennedy Center for this glorious occasion. It has been a thrilling lifetime of performing in so many different arenas and my heart is full of gratitude to the Kennedy Center, my wife Janice, my children and grandchildren, our family and friends, and all the amazing people I’ve had the pleasure to work with. And finally, of course, my wonderful fans.”  

Billy Crystal

Billy Crystal

“I am overwhelmed to be part of this fantastic group of artists. I started performing when I was five years old, making my parents and family laugh. Those laughs have carried me my entire life and career. I so wish they could be at the Kennedy Center for this glorious occasion. It has been a thrilling lifetime of performing in so many different arenas and my heart is full of gratitude to the Kennedy Center, my wife Janice, my children and grandchildren, our family and friends, and all the amazing people I’ve had the pleasure to work with. And finally, of course, my wonderful fans.”  

Renée Fleming

Renée Fleming

“How thrilling to join the company of legendary artists who have received this recognition. This award demonstrates the richness and range of the performing arts in our country, and the Kennedy Center’s celebration is a powerful expression of our culture. Music has defined the arc of my life, giving voice to an introverted child, taking me to places I never dreamed of visiting and people I never dreamed of meeting. Most of all, it has shown me the enormous potential for healing and joy that the arts offer everyone. Having looked with awe at the Honorees in that box at the Kennedy Center Opera House, I’m incredibly grateful to think I will be among them.”

Amy Grant

Renée Fleming

“How thrilling to join the company of legendary artists who have received this recognition. This award demonstrates the richness and range of the performing arts in our country, and the Kennedy Center’s celebration is a powerful expression of our culture. Music has defined the arc of my life, giving voice to an introverted child, taking me to places I never dreamed of visiting and people I never dreamed of meeting. Most of all, it has shown me the enormous potential for healing and joy that the arts offer everyone. Having looked with awe at the Honorees in that box at the Kennedy Center Opera House, I’m incredibly grateful to think I will be among them.”

Barry Gibb

Barry Gibb

“This is a wonderful honor! It’s hard to be proud and humble at the same time. It is one of the most special moments in my life and something that I will always cherish. When I think back over 50 years to our beginnings in Redcliffe, Queensland, I could never have expected this to happen in my life. Receiving the Kennedy Center Honors is something that everyone hopes might happen one day. I’ve often thought about but never dreamed it could come true. Thank you to all those who made this dream a reality. I wish my brothers were here so that they could’ve shared in this special moment.”

Barry Gibb

“This is a wonderful honor! It’s hard to be proud and humble at the same time. It is one of the most special moments in my life and something that I will always cherish. When I think back over 50 years to our beginnings in Redcliffe, Queensland, I could never have expected this to happen in my life. Receiving the Kennedy Center Honors is something that everyone hopes might happen one day. I’ve often thought about but never dreamed it could come true. Thank you to all those who made this dream a reality. I wish my brothers were here so that they could’ve shared in this special moment.”

Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah

“I’m humbled to be included in this incredible list of artists honored by the Kennedy Center. When we started on this journey decades ago, we were often told, ‘No’. No, you won’t be able to leave New Jersey. No, if you rap you can’t sing. No, singers can’t become actresses. No, actors can’t also produce. To now be recognized amongst so many multi-hyphenates feels unbelievable, not for just me and my team, but for our community. The work the Kennedy Center does is immeasurable so I’m beyond grateful for this recognition.”

Tania León

Queen Latifah

“I’m humbled to be included in this incredible list of artists honored by the Kennedy Center. When we started on this journey decades ago, we were often told, ‘No’. No, you won’t be able to leave New Jersey. No, if you rap you can’t sing. No, singers can’t become actresses. No, actors can’t also produce. To now be recognized amongst so many multi-hyphenates feels unbelievable, not for just me and my team, but for our community. The work the Kennedy Center does is immeasurable so I’m beyond grateful for this recognition.”

Dionne Warwick

Dionne Warwick

“I’m exceptionally happy to be honored by the Kennedy Center. It’s very exciting to be recognized for my contributions to the music industry for the past 60 years.”

Dionne Warwick

Dionne Warwick

“I’m exceptionally happy to be honored by the Kennedy Center. It’s very exciting to be recognized for my contributions to the music industry for the past 60 years.”

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Events Inspired By Honorees

Girl From The North Country

Dec. 12 - 31, 2023

Girl From The North Country is the Tony Award®–winning new musical that the Chicago Tribune declares is “a Broadway revelation!” It’s 1934 in Duluth, Minnesota. We meet a group of wayward travelers whose lives intersect in a guesthouse filled with music, life, and hope. Experience this “profoundly beautiful” production (The New York Times) brought to vivid life by an extraordinary company of actors and musicians.

Liz Callaway Celebrates Sondheim

Sat. Jan. 20, 2024

With her critically acclaimed show To Steve with Love, Liz Callaway pays homage to the writer who changed the course of her life. Honoring the life and songs of the most influential composer/lyricist of the modern musical, the Emmy winner, Tony Award nominee, and newly-minted Grammy nominee celebrates the master with a carefully curated evening of the words and music of Stephen Joshua Sondheim.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Feb. 6 - 11, 2024

For its annual Kennedy Center engagement, the beloved company presents Ailey classics and new works, including Ailey’s signature Revelations.

Company

Mar. 12 - 31, 2024

Winner of five Tony® Awards including Best Revival of a Musical, COMPANY—Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s groundbreaking musical comedy—is at once boldly sophisticated, deeply insightful, and downright hilarious. It’s Bobbie’s 35th birthday party, and all her friends keep asking, why isn’t she married? Why can’t she find the right man, and isn’t it time to settle down and start a family? As Bobbie searches for answers, she discovers why being single, being married, and being alive in the 21st century could drive a person crazy.

Message In A Bottle

Apr. 9 - 21, 2024

The peaceful village of Bebko is alive with joyous celebrations. Suddenly, under attack, everything changes forever. Three siblings, Leto, Mati, and Tana, must embark on perilous journeys in order to survive. Message In A Bottle is a spectacular new dance-theatre show from five-time Olivier Award nominee Kate Prince, inspired by and set to the iconic hits of Kennedy Center Honoree and 17-time Grammy® Award–winning artist Sting.

History of the Kennedy Center Honors

Throughout its 45-year history, the Kennedy Center Honors has redefined America’s perception of its artistic legacy and reinvented the way this nation rewards its artists. The Honors have been compared to a knighthood in Britain, or the French Legion of Honor -- the quintessential reward for a lifetime’s endeavor. At the same time, the annual addition of new names to the roster of Honors recipients charts the international standard of excellence set by America’s artists, as well as the aesthetic inspiration provided by artists of other nations who have achieved prominence on these shores.

The annual Honors gala is an evening without categories, without disappointments, without competition -- and the Honors telecast is a perennial Emmy nominee. It serves for millions of American arts lovers as the year’s crowning event, paying tribute to our nation’s preeminent artists with performances by the great stars of today who have followed in their footsteps. The complete list of guest performers is kept secret until the show is in progress, keeping both the Honorees and the nation on the edge of their seats.

Past Honorees

Throughout the years, the Kennedy Center Honors has upheld a tradition of recognizing the lifelong accomplishments and extraordinary talents of our nation’s most-prestigious artists. Find out more about past Honorees by clicking on a name below.

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ݮƵѰapp Honors provide recognition to living individuals who throughout their lifetimes have made significant contributions to American culture through the performing arts. The primary criterion is excellence, and artistic achievement in dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures, and television is considered. Recommendations are now being accepted for the Kennedy Center Honors. Please use the fields below to submit a recommendation.

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