Kennedy Center Honors lauding Bruce Springsteen, Robert De Niro and Mel Brooks airing tonight
The 2009 Kennedy Center Honorees, from left, Grace Bumbry, Robert De Niro, Bruce Springsteen, Mel Brooks, and Dave Brubeck share a laugh at the State Department following the Kennedy Center Honors Gala Dinner. The Kennedy Center Honors special will air tonight on CBS. (Associated Press photo)
The 32nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors will air from 8 to 10 tonight on CBS, with Caroline Kennedy as host for the seventh straight year.
This year’s honorees are award-winning writer, composer, actor, director and producer Mel Brooks; acclaimed actor, director and producer Robert De Niro; celebrated singer/songwriter/musician Bruce Springsteen, pianist and composer Dave Brubeck; and opera singer Grace Bumbry.
Eminent artist friends and peers of the five honorees converged Dec. 6 in Washington, D.C., to present entertaining and heartfelt tributes for tonight’s TV special. This marks the 32nd anniversary of this special, which has been broadcast on CBS each year since its debut in 1978.
This annual event recognizes recipients for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts in dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures and television. Keeping with tradition, the roster of performers and presenters remains secret prior to the gala, and a short biographical film is featured during each honoree’s tribute.
Performers and presenters this year included Roger Bart, Gary Beach, Jack Black, Matthew Broderick, Harry Connick, Jr., Cory English, Simon Estes, Melissa Etheridge, Aretha Franklin, Angela Gheorghiu, Herbie Hancock, Ben Harper, Shuler Hensley, Harvey Keitel, Ron Kovic, Jane Krakowski, Richard Kind, Frank Langella, John Mellencamp, Matthew Morrison, Jennifer Nettles, Edward Norton, Carl Reiner, Stephen A. Schwarzman, Martin Scorsese, Martin Short, Jon Stewart, Ben Stiller, Sting, Sharon Stone, Meryl Streep and Eddie Vedder.
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