The Kennedy Center Honor Award and its tradition return

Washington (Associated Press)-The Kennedy Center Honor Award will return to tradition this year.

After the coronavirus pandemic forced last year’s plans to be postponed and major changes, the Lifetime Achievement Award for Artistic Excellence will be presented at a gala at the main opera house at the Kennedy Center on Sunday night.

The winners include Motown Records creator Berry Gordy, “Saturday Night Live” planner Lorne Michaels, actress and singer Betty Midler, and opera singer Justino Diaz And folk music legend Jonny Mitchell.

This year’s event also represents the return of politics to normal, with President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden attending. The Democrats will be the first president to receive an honorary award at the Kennedy Center since 2016.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump skipped the show during his first three years in office because several artists who were honored in 2017 in his first year in office threatened that if the Republican Party participated , They will boycott the White House reception.

The Trumps also cancelled the traditional White House ceremony for the winners, which Biden restarted with a relaxing holiday party on Sunday afternoon.

“We welcome everyone back,” he told about 150 people sitting in the east hall, decorated with Christmas trees and wreaths. Guests included Vice President Kamala Harris, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Caroline Kennedy, Mikhail Barishnikov, Kita Rivera, Steve Martin and Herbie Hancock.

Biden said to the winners: “Because of you, our country is stronger, more dynamic, and more dynamic.”

Biden praised the works of the artists. Their “sixth sense” helped them create and touch so many people. He said, “I don’t think you fully appreciate what you have done for so many people.”

He talked about Diaz’s “Voice of Soul”, which is “one of the most iconic companies in American history” created by Gody in cooperation with Motown Records. For Michaels, he joked: “It’s finally my turn to talk about you,” teased on Michaels’ SNL show, which often mocked the president, including the current commander-in-chief.

“You make me laugh at myself often,” Biden said, and then went on to say that Michaels is now auditioning for an actor and will play him on SNL next. Biden asked Steve Martin as an example of the type of talent that Michaels has cultivated over the past few decades.

Martin paused and asked the president, “Should I play you?” The crowd burst into laughter.

Biden then expressed his admiration for Mitchell and Midler, and told Midler “People will never forget how you made them feel. That’s your gift, it’s incredible.”

Finally: “Johnny. Your words and melody touched the deepest part of our soul,” Biden said.

Last year, the pandemic forced organizers to postpone the annual December awards ceremony to May 2021. The tribute to the artist’s performance was filmed for several nights in various locations on the campus.

The major modification related to COVID this year is to move the annual Saturday ceremony to the Library of Congress instead of the State Department, where the winners will receive medals on rainbow-colored ribbons.

Sunday’s awards ceremony will be broadcast by CBS on December 22 and is the core content of the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Center cultural program. The center opened in 1971.

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.



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