The Kennedy Center will hold The Kennedy Center Honors on December 3, 2017. This years’s honorees were announced today.
The 2017 recipients are American dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, Cuban American singer-songwriter and actress Gloria Estefan, American hip hop artist and entertainment icon LL COOL J, American television writer and producer Norman Lear, and American musician and record producer Lionel Richie.
“The Kennedy Center Honors spotlights the extraordinary careers of five artists whose talent and ingenuity have enriched and shaped cultural life in America,” stated Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein.
“Each of this year’s Honorees became known to and loved by the world because of their complete originality and bold genius,” said Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter. “They are creators of the highest order, and as President Kennedy’s living memorial, the Kennedy Center is proud to shine a light on their boundless ‘contributions to the human spirit.'”
Lionel Richie said, “It is such an honor to be named a Kennedy Center Honoree this year. I am incredibly humbled to be included amongst such a prestigious group of individuals, both past and present. To think that a kid from Tuskegee Alabama with a dream could be so fortunate to achieve all of the blessings that have come to me throughout my career. Thank you to my fans, family, friends, and the Kennedy Center for this distinguished honor.”
“As a young Jewish boy in the 1920s, as an airman flying over Berlin in World War II, as a young father in Los Angeles trying to make ends meet, as a successful writer/producer touring a copy of the Declaration of Independence around the country — in the many lifetimes I’ve lived — I could not have imagined this day.”said Norman Lear in a statement.
In a star-studded celebration on the Kennedy Center Opera House stage, the 2017 Honorees will be saluted by today’s leading performers from New York, Hollywood, and the arts capitals of the world. Seated with the President of the United States and the First Lady, the Honorees will accept the recognition and gratitude of their peers through performances and tributes.
The Honors Gala will be recorded for broadcast on the CBS Network for the 40th consecutive year as a two-hour primetime special on Tuesday, December 26 at 9 p.m. ET.