Billy Crystal, Renée Fleming, Dionne Warwick, More Named 2023 Kennedy Center Honorees | Playbill

Awards Billy Crystal, Renée Fleming, Dionne Warwick, More Named 2023 Kennedy Center Honorees

The 46th class of Kennedy Center Honorees will be celebrated December 3 in Washington, D.C., in an evening hosted by Gloria Estefan.

Billy Crystal, Renée Fleming, and Dionne Warwick

The five honorees who will receive the 46th Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime artistic achievements in December are Tony-nominated actor and comedian Billy Crystal (Mr. Saturday Night); acclaimed soprano and Tony-nominated actor Renée Fleming (Carousel); British singer-songwriter, producer, and member of the Bee Gees, Barry Gibb (Saturday Night Fever); rapper, singer, and actor Queen Latifah; and Grammy-winning singer Dionne Warwick.

Former Kennedy Center Honoree Gloria Estefan will return to host the December 3 celebration at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The 46th class of Kennedy Center Honorees will be saluted by performers from New York, Hollywood, and the arts capitals of the world, and the evening will be filmed for subsequent TV broadcast. The 46th annual Kennedy Center Honors, which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip hop, will air on CBS and stream on Paramount+ on a date to be announced.

“The Kennedy Center Honors recognizes artists who have made profound contributions to the cultural life of our nation,” says Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein. “A true comedic icon and multi-talented artist since the 1980s who has kept millions laughing around the world, Billy Crystal is responsible for some of the most memorable stand-up moments and hilarious Hollywood scenes in the last half-century; Barry Gibb, along with his late brothers Robin and Maurice, set the music world on fire in the ‘60s and later defined the modern dance era with their trademark falsetto sound and groove style, becoming a pop superstar group for the ages; fittingly known as ‘America’s soprano,’ the beloved opera star Renée Fleming has captivated audiences worldwide with her luminous voice, incomparable artistry, and a knack for bringing opera into the mainstream for more than four decades; as the ‘First Lady of Hip Hop,’ Queen Latifah shaped and innovated the art form in its earliest days, representing Black women everywhere and using the idiom to become a powerful voice for change; and soulful songstress Dionne Warwick has blazed a trail with her signature voice, scintillating presence, and trove of hits that has become a soundtrack of inspiration for generations of artists and audiences.”

“This year’s slate represents an extraordinary mix of individuals who have redefined their art forms and demonstrated remarkable tenacity and authenticity in becoming an original. Each of them has explored new terrain, stretched artistic boundaries, and most importantly, committed to sharing their gifts with the world,” adds Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter. “This year we pay special tribute to the 50th anniversary of hip hop, a uniquely American culture whose constant evolution is one of enduring relevance and impact, reflecting our society as it has grown into an international phenomenon. Hip hop has been an important, thriving art form here at the Center for a number of years; what a privilege it is to bestow an Honors to the First Lady of Hip Hop who has inspired us along the way.”

The Kennedy Center Honors recognizes individuals whose unique contributions have had an impact on the rich tapestry of American life and culture through the performing arts, whether in music, dance, theatre, opera, motion pictures, or television.

Last year's honorees included the Irish rock band U2, which includes Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr.; Grammy-winning soul, gospel, R&B, and pop icon Gladys Knight; actor and filmmaker George Clooney; contemporary Christian and pop singer-songwriter Amy Grant; and Cuban-born American composer, conductor, and educator Tania León.

The 46th annual Kennedy Center Honors will be produced by Done+Dusted in association with ROK Productions, represented by Elizabeth Kelly, who will executive produce alongside David Jammy. The show will be directed by Alex Rudzinski.

See U2, Amy Grant, Gladys Knight, More Honored at the 45th Kennedy Center Honors

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