Who attended the 44th Annual Kennedy Center Honors and who was awarded?

EACH year, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts honors those who have spent their lives in the performing arts and have offered countless contributions to American culture.

The 44th event was held on December 5, 2021, and many want to know who attended and who was honored.

What is the Kennedy Center Honors?

Since 1978, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has hosted the Kennedy Center Honors, which highlights those who have left a legacy on the performing arts world.

"The annual Honors gala is an evening without categories, without disappointments, without competition — and the Honors telecast is a perennial Emmy nominee," the event states on their website.

"It serves for millions of American arts lovers as the year's crowning event, paying tribute to our nation's preeminent artists with performances by the great stars of today who have followed in their footsteps."

Throughout its 40-year history, the honor has been compared to a knighthood in Britain, or the French Legion of Honor, the website states.

Previous honorees have included Dick Van Dyke, Reba McEntire, Hamilton, Cher, and Carole King.

Who attended the 44th Annual Kennedy Center Honors?

Among the A-lister attendees included:

  • Brandi Carlile
  • Smokey Robinson
  • Barbara Hershey
  • Pete Davidson
  • Denyce Graves
  • Martin Short
  • Fred Armisen
  • Amy Poehler
  • Jimmy Fallon
  • Seth Meyers
  • Kenan Thompson

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Other attendees saw on the red carpet were Kate McKinnon, Debbie Allen, and Kevin Nealon.

For those interesting in watching the event, it will air on December 22, 2021, on CBS and it will also be streamed through Paramount+.

Who was awarded?

This year, those who were awarded at the 44th Annual Kennedy Center Honors included:

  • Operatic bass-baritone Justino Díaz
  • Mowtown founder Berry Gordy
  • Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels
  • Stage icon Bette Midler
  • Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell

“This year’s Honorees represent the unifying power of the Arts and surely remind us of that which binds us together as human beings. These artists are equal parts genius, inspiration, and entertainment,” Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter said in a statement.

They were presented their award at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, D.C.

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