George Clooney, Amy Grant, Gladys Knight, Tania León & U2 To Receive Kennedy Center Honors
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts today announced the selection of five Honorees who will receive the 45th Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime artistic achievements.
The recipients to be honored at the annual national celebration of the arts in Washington, D.C., are: acclaimed actor and filmmaker George Clooney; contemporary Christian pop singer-songwriter Amy Grant; the legendary singer of soul, Gospel, R&B and pop Gladys Knight; Cuban-born American composer, conductor and educator Tania León; and iconic Irish rock band U2, comprised of band members Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr.
These artists will receive tributes during THE 45TH ANNUAL KENNEDY CENTER HONORS, to be broadcast during the 2022-2023 television season on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.* CBS has broadcast the special each year since its debut 45 years ago.
The Kennedy Center also announced today that Done+Dusted, the award-winning production company and producers of the Center’s Mark Twain Prize since 2018, have been selected as executive producers of THE 45TH ANNUAL KENNEDY CENTER HONORS.
Kennedy Center chairman David M. Rubenstein said this about the 2022 Honorees:
“Whether saving humanity, masterminding a heist or captaining a ship in dangerous seas, actor George Clooney’s unique brand of earnest charisma and his complete embodiment of a character has led us to root for him every time; multiplatinum singer-songwriter Amy Grant became the first artist to bring contemporary Christian music to the forefront of American culture, then equally thrived after crossing over into mainstream pop with hit after hit, and today is revered as the “Queen of Christian Pop”; in her 55-year music career, legendary singer and America’s beloved “Empress of Soul” Gladys Knight went from the Pips of Georgia to GRAMMY(R) royalty, showcasing a boundless vocal range and soulfulness that has stood the test of time; a brave, young Cuban refugee-turned-Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and music ambassador, Tania León has blessed America for more than five decades with her astoundingly original compositions and continues to be a major influence on classical music; and one of most influential rock bands of the modern rock era, U2, won over America and the world long ago with their iconic anthems, potent lyrics and powerful messages of social justice and global citizenship – earning a musical legacy that crosses generations, inspires and unites.”
Deborah F. Rutter, Kennedy Center president, added:
“For nearly a half-century, the Kennedy Center Honors has represented the very best of America’s creative culture. The Honors is often referred to by past recipients as the pinnacle of awards because it recognizes not just one performance, album or film, but esteems an artist’s cumulative body of work and influence over many decades. This level of distinction is important. Through this holistic viewpoint, each year’s Honorees add another layer to the complex and inspiring collage of artists that together tell the story of our collective contribution to global culture. Now, as the Center completes its year-long 50th anniversary celebration, I cannot help but think that the Kennedy Center’s namesake would surely smile at this celebration that brings us closer to his vision of ‘an America which will reward achievement in the arts as we reward achievement in business or statecraft.'”
Throughout its 44-year history, the annual Honors Gala has become the highlight of the Washington cultural and society calendar, and its national broadcast on CBS is a high point of the television season. On Sunday, December 4, in a star-studded celebration on the Kennedy Center Opera House stage, the 45th class of Kennedy Center Honorees will be saluted by today’s leading performers from New York, Hollywood and the arts capitals of the world. Seated in the Box Tier of the iconic Kennedy Center Opera House, the Honorees will accept the recognition and gratitude of their peers through performances and tributes. The 45th Kennedy Center Honors Gala concludes with a dinner in the Grand Foyer.
The Honors Gala will be recorded for broadcast on the CBS Television Network at a later date for the 45th consecutive year as a two-hour primetime special and will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.*
The Honors recipients are recognized for their contributions to American culture through the performing arts – whether in music, dance, theater, opera, motion pictures or television – and are confirmed by the Executive Committee of the Center’s Board of Trustees. The primary criterion in the selection process is excellence. The Honors are not designated by art form or category of artistic achievement; the selection process, over the years, has produced balance among the various arts and artistic disciplines.
The Honoree selection process includes solicitation of recommendations from former Honorees, the artistic community, the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees and the general public. This year’s selected Honorees were chosen based on the recommendation of the Center’s Special Honors Advisory Committee, which is chaired by David Bohnett and includes past Honors recipients and distinguished artists Julie Andrews, Gloria Estefan, Herbie Hancock, Judith Jamison, Lionel Richie and John Williams, as well as David M. Rubenstein, Deborah F. Rutter, Bryan Lourd, Cappy McGarr, Shonda Rhimes and Daryl Roth. These individuals play a critical role in the evaluation and selection process, and the Kennedy Center is indebted to them for their involvement.