Actor and filmmaker George Clooney, seven-time Grammy Award winner Gladys Knight, best-selling rock band U2, contemporary Christian singer Amy Grant and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Tania León will receive Kennedy Center Honors this year.
The five honorees will be feted for their lifetime artistic achievements at the 45th annual ceremony, to be broadcast during the 2022-2023 season on CBS (which has aired the special since its inception 45 years ago) and stream live on Paramount+.
Done+Dusted, producers of the Center’s Mark Twain Prize, will serve as executive producer for the event, which is usually held during the first weekend of December at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
“Whether saving humanity, masterminding a heist or captaining a ship in dangerous seas, actor George Clooney’s unique brand of earnest charisma and his complete embodiment of a character has led us to root for him every time,” Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein said in a statement. “Multi-platinum singer-songwriter Amy Grant became the first artist to bring contemporary Christian music to the forefront of American culture, then equally thrived after crossing over into mainstream pop with hit after hit, and today is revered as the ‘Queen of Christian Pop.’”
He continued: “In her 55-year music career, legendary singer and America’s beloved ‘Empress of Soul’ Gladys Knight went from the Pips of Georgia to Grammy royalty, showcasing a boundless vocal range and soulfulness that has stood the test of time; a brave, young Cuban refugee-turned-Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and music ambassador, Tania León has blessed America for more than five decades with her astoundingly original compositions and continues to be a major influence on classical music; and one of the most influential rock bands of the modern rock era, U2, won over America and the world long ago with their iconic anthems, potent lyrics and powerful messages of social justice and global citizenship — earning a musical legacy that crosses generations, inspires and unites.”
Last year’s honorees were Joni Mitchell, Bette Midler, Berry Gordy, Lorne Michaels and Justino Díaz.