Eminent artist friends and peers of this year's five honorees converged in Washington, D.C. last night (Dec. 2) to present entertaining and heartfelt tributes at THE 30TH ANNUAL KENNEDY CENTER HONORS, an entertainment special to be broadcast Wednesday, Dec. 26 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network with Caroline Kennedy as host for the fifth consecutive year. This marks the 30th anniversary of this acclaimed special, which has been broadcast on CBS each year since its debut in 1978. George Stevens, Jr. is head writer and producer for the 30th consecutive year. Pianist and conductor Leon Fleisher, actor and writer Steve Martin, singer and actress Diana Ross, film director Martin Scorsese, and songwriter and singer Brian Wilson were all present at the black-tie gala in their honor.
This annual event recognizes recipients for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts in dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures and television. Keeping with tradition, the roster of performers and presenters remains secret prior to the gala, and a short biographical film is featured during each honoree's tribute.
Included in the cast are Yolanda Adams, Jonathan Biss, Steve Carell, Kristin Chenoweth, Ciara, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert De Niro, Cameron Diaz, Art Garfunkel, Hootie & The Blowfish, Terrence Howard, Bill Irwin, Ricky Jay, Jaime Laredo, Libera, Lyle Lovett, Yo-Yo Ma, Anna Netrebko, Smokey Robinson, Earl Scruggs, Martin Short, Jordin Sparks and Vanessa Williams.
Additional performers include the Rob Mathes Band, the Peabody Conservatory Orchestra, The Choral Arts Society and the Joyce Garrett Choir.