The Kennedy Center Honors will return in December with inductees that include Motown Records creator Berry Gordy, Saturday Night Live mastermind Lorne Michaels, actress-singer Bette Midler, opera singer Justino Diaz and folk music legend Joni Mitchell.
via Hollywood Reporter:
Midler, 75, has won four Grammy Awards, three Emmys, and two Tony Awards, along with two Oscar nominations. Her albums have sold over 30 million copies. In a statement, Midler said she was “stunned and grateful beyond words. For many years I have watched this broadcast celebrating the best talent in the performing arts that America has to offer, and I truly never imagined that I would find myself among these swans.”
Mitchell, 77, emerged from the Canadian coffee shop circuit to become one of the standard-bearers for multiple generations of singer-songwriters. In 2020, Rolling Stone magazine declared her 1971 album Blue to be the third-best album of all time. In a brief statement, Mitchell, said, “I wish my mother and father were alive to see this. It’s a long way from Saskatoon.”
Gordy, 91, founded Motown Records — the Detroit-based hit factory that spawned what became known as the Motown Sound and launched the careers of a huge list of artists, including Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Ritchie, Marvin Gaye and Martha and the Vandellas.
Gordy said in an interview that he always held President John Kennedy as one of the greatest leaders in American history. “So to be honored in his name just means the world to me,” he said.
All will be honored on Dec. 5 with a trademark program that includes personalized tributes and performances.
Deborah Rutter, president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, said the current plan is to “pack the center’s opera house to full capacity and require all attendees to wear masks.”
But the plans remain fluid and Rutter said they’re ready to adapt to changing circumstances depending on the country’s COVID-19 situation.
“We don’t know for sure what it’s going to be like,” Rutter said in an interview. “But don’t you think we all deserve to have a party?”
I don’t have a good feeling about this, do you?