Kennedy Center Honors tap their first rapper: LL Cool J

Ausiliatrice Cristiano
Agosto 3, 2017

"This is a truly exceptional slate of honorees - made even more special by the fact that we will honor these artists as we also celebrate four decades of the Kennedy Center Honors", Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter said in a statement.

Veteran producer George Stevens, Jr. founded the ceremony for CBS in 1978 with honorees Marian Anderson, Fred Astaire, George Balanchine, Richard Rodgers, and Arthur Rubinstein. "They are creators of the highest order, and as President Kennedy's living memorial, the Kennedy Center is so proud to shine a light on their boundless "contributions to the human spirit".

Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are scheduled to be seated with the honorees during the Kennedy Center ceremony, and they will host a reception with them at the White House earlier in the evening.

"The Kennedy Center Honors spotlights the extraordinary careers of five artists whose talent and ingenuity have enriched and shaped cultural life in America" stated Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein, on the center's website.

This year's honorees are American dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, Cuban-American singer-songwriter and actor Gloria Estefan, American hip-hop artist and entertainment icon LL Cool J, American television writer and producer Norman Lear, and American musician and record producer Lionel Richie. "It is not, of course, the first time; nor will it be the last", Lear said.

"Throughout his career Norman has been a champion of the essential American values of freedom, justice and equality, and on behalf of our members, our board and our staff, I want to congratulate him on receiving the Kennedy Center Honors". Directed by two-time Tony winner Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots) and choreographed by Olivier Award winner Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys), On Your Feet! features a book by Academy Award winner Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman), as well as Estefan's chart-topping hits, including "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You", "1-2-3", and "Conga", plus new music penned by the Estefans.

The 40th annual Kennedy Center Honors will be presented on December 3.

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