The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has announced its annual lifetime achievement award winners.
For the first time, two Canadians have made the cut to be recognized at the annual Kennedy Center Honors, celebrating their lifetime achievements in the arts.
Iconic singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell and Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels round out five honourees.
Operatic bass-baritone Justino Díaz, Motown founder Berry Gordy, and legendary stage and film star Bette Midler will also be honoured.
What they’re saying
“Songstress Joni Mitchell blends raw, deeply personal lyrics with her stunningly ethereal voice in 19 albums, becoming one of the most influential singer-songwriters and cultural figures in 20th-century popular music,” said Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein.
“I’m grateful to the Kennedy Center for bestowing this honor on my work and I look forward to being a part of this prestigious celebration of the arts,” said Joni Mitchell in a statement. “I wish my mother and father were alive to see this. It’s a long way from Saskatoon.”
“The Kennedy Center’s commitment to the performing arts has always been an important force in American culture,” wrote Michaels in a statement. “Being acknowledged here and included in this company is an honor in the truest sense. I am deeply grateful.”
Break out the Tux
The Kennedy Center Honors are awarded annually to those in the performing arts who have made significant contributions to American culture throughout their lives.
Since 1978, the awards have been given out yearly, culminating in a star-studded gala in December at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the recipients.
The 44th annual Kennedy Center Honors will be awarded during a live event on December 5, with the television broadcast on CBS. It will also be available to stream on-demand on Paramount+.
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