Lorne Michaels, Bette Midler and Joni Mitchell are among the honorees when the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts gives out Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime artistic achievements. Opera singer Justino Diaz and Motown founder Berry Gordy will also be honored.
The event will air on CBS on an unannounced date during the 2021-2022 season. CBS has broadcast the special each year since its debut 44 years ago.
“The Kennedy Center Honors celebrates luminaries whose art and creativity have enriched us beyond measure,” said Kennedy Center chairman David M. Rubenstein. “With his distinguished, deeply resonant voice and storied operatic career, Justino Díaz stood on the stages of the world’s great opera houses and today stands as one of the greatest bass-baritones of our time; visionary music producer and songwriter Berry Gordy brought the quintessential soulfulness of Detroit into every home in America, elevating the Motown sound to become a national treasure; Lorne Michaels created the most enduring ‘must-see television’ with Saturday Night Live, a show that is both mirror and muse for life in America; an artistic tour de force and America’s Divine Miss M. Bette Midler has enjoyed an unrivaled and prolific career, entertaining millions with her wondrous voice and trademark comedic wit; and songstress Joni Mitchell, blends raw, deeply personal lyrics with her stunningly ethereal voice in 19 albums, becoming one of the most influential singer-songwriters and cultural figures in 20th-century popular music.”
Washington’s Kennedy Center Opera House will host the 2021 event Dec. 5.
CBS aired the 2019 event in mid December of that year. The 43rd annual Kennedy Center shindig was on CBS last month.
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.