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The 2023 Kennedy Center Honors, one of the most prestigious events in the entertainment industry, took place December 3 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Here’s a closer look at what happened at the 2023 Kennedy Center Honors and who received awards this year.
What are the Kennedy Center Honors?
The Kennedy Center Honors is an annual ceremony that recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to American culture through their work in music, dance, theater, opera, and film. Each year, five honorees are chosen. These are usually individuals but could be a couple or a group as well. This year’s awards were the 46th iteration of the event.
This year’s honorees include some of the most iconic names from film and music, as well as several multi-talented individuals with contributions to both. The honorees are:
Actor and comedian Billy Crystal first emerged as a sitcom star with his portrayal of Jodie Dallas in ‘Soap’ before gaining Hollywood fame in iconic films like ‘When Harry Met Sally’ and ‘The Princess Bride.’ His wit, charm, and versatile talent have made him a beloved entertainer, which is evident from the fact that he’s been chosen to host the Academy Awards nine times since 1990.
Renée Fleming is an American soprano singer best known for her work with classical music in opera and other concerts. Winning a major award is nothing new for Fleming, as she’s already been the recipient of five Grammys and honorary Doctor of Music degrees from both Harvard and Yale.
Barry Gibb, the last surviving member of the Bee Gees, shaped the soundtrack of generations with his brothers Robin and Maurice. Many of the Bee Gees’ disco anthems and ballads have stood the test of time and continue to be culturally relevant even now, 65 years after the band was formed. Gibb’s iconic falsetto and songwriting prowess have made the band undeniable legends in the music world.
Rapper, actress, and singer Queen Latifah is one of the most dynamic and multi-talented faces in the music industry. This hip-hop pioneer was the first artist in the genre to be awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and has won a slew of other awards for both her music and acting work. In addition to her creative contributions, Queen Latifah is a well-known business mogul and philanthropist, showing the true breadth and depth of talent and impact that one hard-working individual can have.
Dionne Warwick, the acclaimed singer, actress, and television host, was the fifth individual awarded a Kennedy Center Honor this year. Warwick is one of the most-charted vocalists of all time and has had 80 singles chart on the Billboard Hot 100. Warwick’s smooth and emotional voice has made her a legend in R&B, soul, and gospel music. Warwick’s contributions to music have already been widely acknowledged, and in 2019, she won the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.