Photos: Ariana DeBose, Anna Deavere Smith, More Come Out to Celebrate 45th Annual Kennedy Center Honorees | Playbill

Photos Photos: Ariana DeBose, Anna Deavere Smith, More Come Out to Celebrate 45th Annual Kennedy Center Honorees

Bono, The Edge, Gladys Knight, and more were honored December 4 in Washington, D.C.

Ariana DeBose at the 45th Kennedy Center Honors Tracey Salazar

Bono and The Edge, who penned the score for Julie Taymor's Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, were among the recipients of the 45th Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime artistic achievements, presented December 4 in Washington, D.C. The two artists were recognized as part of the Irish rock band U2, which also includes honorees Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr.

This year's recipients also included Grammy-winning soul, gospel, R&B, and pop icon Gladys Knight, who performed in concert at Broadway's Gershwin Theatre in summer 1984 in Gladys Knight & the Pips & Kashif; actor and filmmaker George Clooney; contemporary Christian and pop singer-songwriter Amy Grant; and Cuban-born American composer, conductor, and educator Tania León.

The 45th class of Kennedy Center Honorees were saluted on the Kennedy Center Opera House stage December 4 by leading performers from New York, Hollywood, and the arts capitals of the world. President Joseph Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff also attended the 45th Kennedy Center Honors.

Several theatre favorites also took part in the celebration, including Oscar winner Ariana DeBose and Tony nominee Anna Deavere Smith. Check out photos from the event below:

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

The Honors Gala was recorded, and The 45th Annual Kennedy Center Honors will air December 28 at 8 PM ET on CBS and will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.

The recipients are recognized for their contributions to American culture through the performing arts—whether in music, dance, theatre, opera, motion pictures, or television—and are confirmed by the Executive Committee of the Center’s Board of Trustees.

This year’s honorees were chosen based on the recommendation of the Kennedy Center’s Special Honors Advisory Committee, chaired by David Bohnett and includes past Honors recipients and artists Julie Andrews, Gloria Estefan, Herbie Hancock, Judith Jamison, Lionel Richie, and John Williams as well as David M. Rubenstein, Deborah F. Rutter, Bryan Lourd, Cappy McGarr, Shonda Rhimes, and Daryl Roth.

Last year's honorees included stage and screen star Bette Midler, operatic bass-baritone Justino Díaz; Motown founder, songwriter, producer, and director Berry Gordy; Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels; and singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell.

Done+Dusted, the production company and producers of the Center’s Mark Twain Prize since 2018, executive produces the 45th annual Kennedy Center Honors.

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