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Kennedy Center Honors 2022: 5 things to know about the honorees including George Clooney and more

As the Kennedy Center Honors 2022 ceremony will be aired on CBS soon, here’s a look at this year’s honorees and everything you need to know about how they were celebrated at the event.

Kennedy Center Honors 2022: 5 things to know about the honorees including George Clooney and more

The Kennedy Center Honors 2022 are all set to be aired soon on CBS and fans will finally get a peek at the star-studded evening and everyone who was honoured at the same. The annual show was filmed on the Kennedy Center Opera House stage on December 4 and the ceremony consisted of performances as well. The recipients were recognised for their contributions across various fields. 

The Kennedy Center Honors celebrate the contributions of personalities to various aspects of American culture including music, dance, theater, opera, motion pictures or television – and are confirmed by the Executive Committee of the Center’s Board of Trustees. As per Just Jared, the criterion in the selection process is excellence and The Honors are not designated by art form or category. At this year’s ceremony, country superstar Trisha Yearwood sang the National Anthem.

When and where will The Kennedy Center Honors 2022 be aired?

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The Kennedy Center Honors 2022 will be aired on CBS at 8 pm ET/PT on Wednesday, December 28 and it will also stream live and on-demand on Paramount+.

Who are the Kennedy Center Honorees of 2022?

Actor and filmmaker George Clooney, soul legend Gladys Knight, Christian music singer/songwriter Amy Grant, composer and conductor Tania Leon and Irish rockers U2 have been named the honorees this year at the Kennedy Center. The event also saw in attendance, seated at the presidential box of the Center’s Opera House, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, as well as Vice President Kamila Harris and husband Doug Emhoff. At the event, the honorees were celebrated for their contributions with a blend of entertainment and heartfelt testimonials from their peers and pals. 

Honoree: George Clooney

To celebrate George Clooney at the Kennedy Center Honor, Julia Roberts not only delivered a heartfelt speech but also attended the event sporting a dress decorated with photos of th actor. In the video tribute, while Brad Pitt narrated an overview of Clooney’s accomplishments, Matt Damon teased the actor as “everyone’s sixth-favourite Batman.” Clooney’s father, Nick, 88, also made a surprise virtual appearance as he shared words of pride for his son and said, “He has never stopped surprising me, never stopped learning. … George’s best and most important work is still ahead of him.”

  • Lead Storyteller: Julia Roberts
  • Presenters: Matt Damon, Nick Clooney, Richard Kind, Don Cheadle
  • Tribute Film Narrator: Brad Pitt
  • Tribute Performer: Dianne Reeves performs How High the Moon with Terreon Gully, Martin Wind and John Beasley

Honoree: Gladys Knight

After being honoured with the precious honour, as reported by USA Today, Gladys Knight said receiving a renowned cultural honour from President Joe Biden resonated with her deeply because “I feel like he’s my brother, I’ve been knowing him so long.” 

  • Lead Storyteller: LL Cool J
  • Presenter: Michael Tilson Thomas
  • Tribute Performers: Garth Brooks performs Midnight Train to Georgia
  • Mickey Guyton performs Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me
  • Ariana DeBose performs I Heard It Through the Grapevine
  • Patti LaBelle, Garth Brooks, Ariana DeBose, Mickey Guyton perform That’s What Friends Are For

Honoree: Amy Grant

Amy Grant managed to become a trailblazer with this honour as she became the first contemporary Christian artist to receive a Kennedy Center Honor. Grant was honoured by Broadway legend Chita Rivera and news personality Katie Couric who celebrated her 40-plus-year career and Couric also described her music as, “the perfect elixir for troubled times and troubled souls.”

  • Lead Storyteller: Katie Couric
  • Tribute Performers: Sheryl Crow performs Baby, Baby
  • The Highwomen, comprised of Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris and Amanda Shires perform Somewhere Down the Road with Jason Isbell
  • BeBe & CeCe Winans and Michael W Smith perform Sing Your Praise to the Lord and El Shaddai with Howard University Gospel Choir

Honoree: U2

Sean Penn honoured the Irish band U2 at the Kennedy Center Honors and the actor described them as “the most consistently relevant band in history.” The video tribute saw Beyoncé, Harry Styles, Billie Eilish and Finneas reciting U2’s famed lyrics as footage of them performing throughout the decades flashed on screen. 

  • Lead Storyteller:  Sean Penn
  • Presenter: Sacha Baron Cohen
  • Tribute Film Narrators: Billie Eilish + Finneas, Harry Styles, Beyoncé
  • Tribute Performers: Eddie Vedder performs Elevation and With or Without You
  • Hozier + Jamala + Brandi Carlile perform Walk On

Honoree: Tania León

Vocalist Alicia Hall Moran celebrated León, who left Cuba for New York City in 1967 and co-founded the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Moran spoke about how Tania has become a “teacher, a mentor and a guru” who has “crafted moments in time inspired by art, history and nature.”

  • Lead Storyteller: Anna Deavere Smith
  • Tribute Performers: Chloe Flower performs Tumbao with Dance Theatre of Harlem Company.
  • Jael Dolce Young Tania and Anna Deavere Smith perform Malguena.
  • Jason and Alicia Hall Moran and Sterling Elliott perform Oh Yemanja
  • Jeri Lynne Johnson and Joe Kwon to appear with KC orchestra and members of Sphinx perform Stride

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