CBS-TV will telecast the two-hour special beginning at 9 PM ET; the annual tribute was filmed Dec. 2 at the Kennedy Center's Opera House. This year's recipients included stage and screen star, comedian and playwright Steve Martin; pianist Leon Fleisher; singer Diana Ross (Tony winner for An Evening with Diana Ross); film director Martin Scorsese; and songwriter Brian Wilson.
In addition to Chenoweth, Irwin, Short and Redgrave, the broadcast will also feature appearances by Yolanda Adams, Steve Carell, Ciara, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert De Niro, Cameron Diaz, Art Garfunkel, Hootie and the Blowfish, Terrence Howard, Lyle Lovett, Yo-Yo Ma, Smokey Robinson, Earl Scruggs and "American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks.
In a previous statement Kennedy Center Chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman said, "With their extraordinary talent, creativity, and perseverance, the five 2007 Honorees have transformed the way we, as Americans, see, hear and feel the performing arts. We will forever be thankful for the great gift they have shared with us. Leon Fleisher is a consummate musician whose career is a moving testament to the life-affirming power of art; Steve Martin is a Renaissance comic whose talents wipe out the boundaries between artistic disciplines; Diana Ross' singular, instantly recognizable voice has spread romance and joy throughout the world; Martin Scorsese is a visionary filmmaker and a fearless artist; and Brian Wilson led not only a spectacularly popular rock group but also an era-defining transformation of the sound of music."
Members of the Kennedy Center's national artists committee, as well as past Honorees, made recommendations of possible Honorees. Among the artists making recommendations were Emanuel Ax, Dan Aykroyd, Jon Robin Baitz, Dave Brubeck, Kenny Chesney, Francis Ford Coppola, Melissa Etheridge, Laurence Fishburne, Renee Fleming, Anjelica Huston, India.Arie, Evgeny Kissin, Rob Marshall, Peter Martins, Terrence McNally, Helen Mirren, Anna Netrebko, Christopher Plummer, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Catherine Zeta-Jones. Previous Kennedy Center Honorees Edward Albee, Julie Andrews, Carol Burnett, Sean Connery, Bill Cosby, Kirk Douglas, Elton John, Mike Nichols, Smokey Robinson and Steven Spielberg also made nominations.
Last year's honorees included composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, conductor Zubin Mehta, country singer-songwriter Dolly Parton, singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson and film director Steven Spielberg. For more information about the Kennedy Center Honorees or the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, visit www.kennedy-center.org.