It is expected that President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden will attend. Earlier this year, the couple participated virtually in the event. This follows a time-out in which Donald Trump, deeply disliked by large swaths of the arts communities, did not take part in any of the three Kennedy Center Honors held during his four-year reign.
“For many years I have watched this broadcast celebrating the best talent in the performing arts that America has to offer, and I truly never imagined that I would find myself among these swans,” Midler said in a statement. “Thank you to the Kennedy Center for recognizing me, and my heartfelt thanks to everyone who put me here.”
Said Berry to the New York Times, “Here we are 60 years later and Diana Ross and the Temptations are both coming out with new albums. Motown’s legacy continues without me having to do anything.” In a statement released through the Kennedy Center, the music impresario said, “Growing up in Detroit, I was not only Black but the ‘black sheep’ of my family. I was a failure at everything I did until I was 29 years old… The arts not only give voice to the voiceless, but connect us, transform us, and soothe our souls. The Kennedy Center Honors epitomizes the recognition and value of both the arts, and the artist.”
“With his distinguished, deeply resonant voice and storied operatic career, Justino Díaz stood on the stages of the world’s great opera houses and today stands as one of the greatest bass-baritones of our time,” Kennedy Center chairman David M. Rubenstein said in a statement.
Said Midler, “I am profoundly touched by this honor, in fact, I am stunned and grateful beyond words. For many years I have watched this broadcast celebrating the best talent in the performing arts that America has to offer, and I truly never imagined that I would find myself among these swans.”