Kennedy Center Honors 2021 Honorees & Winners

Despite pandemic-related delays, the star-studded Kennedy Center Honors will return with Gloria Estefan as host. It will have fun the work and legacy of Debbie Allen, Joan Baetz, Garth Brooks, Dick Van Dyke and Midori.

“The Kennedy Center Honors serves as a second to have fun the outstanding artists who’ve spent their lives elevating the cultural historical past of our nation and world,” the Kennedy Center announcement quoted Chairman David M. Rubenstein.

He continued, “Debbie Allen strikes seamlessly between inventive disciplines and is a cultural ambassador for all whereas having a monumental impression on dancers of shade all over the place; people icon Joan Baez breathed new life into the style and powered rock music’s flip towards social and political consciousness; as one of many world’s best-selling music artists, Garth Brooks heightened nation music’s profile like no different singer earlier than him; with a world presence for over 35 years, violinist Midori combines sleek precision and expression for performances constructing connections between artwork and the human expertise; with a attraction that has made him one of the crucial cherished performers in show enterprise historical past, Dick Van Dyke has introduced us beloved movie, stage, and TV characters adored by generations of followers, for greater than seven a long time.”

Originally scheduled for December 2020, filming was pushed to May 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The show will look just a little completely different this 12 months. According to the announcement, the Kennedy Center Honors will embrace “small, in-person occasions and re-envisioned digital tribute” unfold all through the theater’s campus.

Here’s what you have to know:

Debbie Allen

Allen is an “actress, dancer, choreographer, singer-songwriter, director and producer,” CBS revealed in their announcement. She rose to stardom for her position in Fame, profitable a Golden Globe Award and Emmy Awards for her performing and choreography.

Also completed on stage, the Grey’s Anatomy star earned Tony nominations for her roles in Sweet Charity and West Side Story.

During a 2008 NPR interview, she opened up about switching between her numerous roles, saying, “I’ve simply grown up on the earth of creativity. Literature and books have at all times been on the middle of our lives as kids. My mom, Vivian Ayers, raised us studying books, going to museums. So I’ve at all times had an incredible creativeness and an incredible urge for food for the problem of creativity.”

I went to Howard University, and there I studied classical literature,” she continued. “I used to be a minor in classics, translated all the nice Greek writers, from Aeschylus to – simply identify one, all of them.”

Joan Baez

Baez is a people singer, activist and even a painter, described as a “Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and a number of Grammy Award-nominated singer, songwriter, musician and activist,” in CBS’ honoree announcement.
“It has been my life’s pleasure to make artwork. It’s additionally been my life’s pleasure to make, because the late Congressman John Lewis known as it, ‘good bother,'” she wrote on Instagram after being introduced as an honoree. “What luck to have been born with the power to do each; each giving power and credibility to the opposite. “
She continued, “I’m indebted to many for a privileged life right here. I’ve tried to share my luck with others anyplace and all over the place on the earth. Sometimes there have been dangers, however they’re solely part of the that means of all of it.⁣⁣”


Midori is a Grammy Award-winning live performance violinist who has been taking part in for greater than 35 years.

“Artists have a singular accountability, via our work and deeds, to echo and mirror our society and serve its wants,” her Kennedy Center profile quotes the musician. “As a brand new chapter of life is about to start for all of us, I particularly really feel the present second’s requirements and alternatives to discover a spring of recent and preserved energies and discoveries, to play my half in searching for numerous avenues and types of creativity and restoration. From an early age, I’ve been gifted with extraordinary experiences. I contemplate them to be my treasure and fortune that I’d now draw upon.”

She continues, “I want to accomplish a lot going ahead. My plans are to be making music once more, in each pioneering and conventional methods, to sing out and to stir what lies inside us, to explain mysteries, of the center and of the thoughts. So, within the spirit of peace and connectivity via this nation and the world, I’m thrilled to be a recipient of one in all this 12 months’s Kennedy Center Honors, as we, collectively, attain towards renewed expression of the goals and hopes that unify us all.”

Garth Brooks

It is Garth Brooks’ flip to obtain the Kennedy Center Honor after performing tributes on the award ceremonies for James Taylor, Billy Joel and Loretta Lynn. According to a CBS announcement, he’s “a number of Grammy Award, ACM Award and CMA Award-winning nation music entertainer.”

The star has quite a few accolades below his belt, together with his Billboard Awards Icon Award, the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song and induction into the Musicians Hall of Fame. He even had an A&E documentary, Garth Brooks: The Road I’m On.

Brooks opened up about receiving the respect on Instagram writing, “I’m humbled and grateful to EVERYONE that has celebrated this music through the years, that is OUR honor TOGETHER. To the singers and gamers who carry out within the show tonight, thanks for making me fall in love with the music once more.”

Dick Van Dyke

Dick Van Dyke is the legendary actor, recognized for enjoying Bert in Mary Poppins, Mark Sloan on Diagnosis Murder and Albert Peterson in Bye, Bye Birdie. As CBS famous, he’s an “Emmy Award, Grammy Award and Tony Award-winning actor, comic, author, singer and dancer.”

Speaking of the respect on his Kennedy Center profile, he said, “Many years in the past, I used to be the host of an identical occasion held, as I recall, in personal with the Kennedy household. I noticed the care with which the recipient was chosen from a powerful record of nominees. Since the creation of the Kennedy Center Honors, simply over 200 have been honored with equal care. Being included in that small, illustrious group, is the joys of my life.”

The forty third Annual Kennedy Center Honors will air tonight on CBS and Paramount+ at 8 p.m. Eastern.


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