The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has announced this year’s honorees for lifetime artistic achievements.
They include contemporary Christian and pop singer-songwriter Amy Grant; legendary singer of soul, Gospel, R&B, and pop Gladys Knight; and iconic Irish rock band U2.
Acclaimed actor and filmmaker George Clooney; and Cuban-born American composer, conductor, and educator Tania León are the other honorees.
“Multi-platinum 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,'” Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein said while announcing the honors.
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 royalty, showcasing a boundless vocal range and soulfulness that has stood the test of time.
One of most influential rock bands of the modern rock era, U2 is comprised of band members Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr.
“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,” said Rubenstein.
Responding to the news of the honor, Grant said, “I cannot wait to celebrate with my fellow honorees, friends, and family. Thank you for widening the circle to include all of us.”
“The Kennedy Center’s commitment to the arts is unparalleled and I am so very grateful for this moment,” said Knight.
“We consider America to be a home away from home and we are very grateful to the Kennedy Center Honors for welcoming us into this great clan of extraordinary artists,” U2 added.
The recipients will be honored at the Kennedy Center Honors Gala on December 4.
(Photo: Carol M. Highsmith)
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