Photo credit: The Kennedy Center Honors
The 2015 Kennedy Center Honors celebrated the lifetime artistic achievements of six artists, including the American rock band the Eagles, singer-songwriter Carole King, filmmaker George Lucas, actress and singer Rita Moreno, conductor Seiji Ozawa, and actress and Broadway star Cicely Tyson.
The honorees were celebrated for leaving an indelible mark on civilization through their “extraordinary and unparalleled talents,” said Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein.
“Quite simply, our Honorees represent the voices, soundtracks, and stories of our personal lives and memories. The music of the Eagles has endured as the quintessential American rock and roll sound for generations; Carole King’s heartfelt lyrics and tunes are woven throughout the tapestry of American music; George Lucas’ films have enriched our world with stories of epic adventure; Rita Moreno’s iconic spitfire roles are embedded in the heart of American culture; Seiji Ozawa’s artistic leadership as a conductor has set a new standard for orchestras around the world; and Cicely Tyson’s range of strong female roles on stage and screen have broken boundaries for women of color,” said Rubenstein in a press release.
Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter described the night’s honorees as history-makers “who defy both convention and category” and individuals who have “pushed the limits of their gifts as musicians, actors, and storytellers to inspire generations of Americans and those around the world.”
“Each Honoree and their career-spanning achievements exemplify a rare quality of artistic bravery. Their individual paths to excellence are inspirational and their contributions to the fabric of American culture are equally permanent and timeless,” said Rutter.
During a gala held on Dec. 6, the 2015 Honorees were saluted by leading performers from New York, Hollywood, and the arts capitals of the world. Seated with the President of the United States and Michelle Obama, the Honorees accepted the thanks of their peers through performances and tributes.
Aired on Dec. 29 on CBS, the annual Honors Gala has become the highlight of the Washington cultural and society calendar.