The Kennedy Center Honors announced that its honorees for 2016 will be Argentine pianist Martha Argerich, rock band the Eagles, screen and stage actor Al Pacino, gospel and blues singer Mavis Staples and musician James Taylor. They will be recognized during “The 39th Annual Kennedy Center Honors” to be broadcast on Tuesday, Dec. 27 from 9-11 p.m. ET on CBS. The Eye network has broadcast the special each year since its debut 39 years ago.
“The Kennedy Center Honors celebrates the spectacular talents of artists whose brilliance has left a lasting impact on our society,” said Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein. “These Honorees represent what is possible when creativity is not just cultivated, but unleashed.
“Reflecting on the powerful commitments these artists have made to their crafts as well as the cultural contributions they have made over the course of their illustrious careers is a humbling experience,” added Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter. “These Honorees have each played a unique role in shaping America’s artistic landscape with their work, expressing their creativity in ways that pushed the boundaries of what art can do, and what it can mean. Their artistic triumphs have motivated us, moved us, and will continue to inspire us for generations to come.”
The President and Mrs. Obama will receive the Honorees along with the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees at the White House prior to the performance and gala. The 2016 Kennedy Center Honors concludes with a gala dinner in the Grand Foyer.
The Honors recipients are recognized for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts – whether in dance, music, 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; over the years, the selection process has produced a balance among the various arts and artistic disciplines.