The ceremony, which was attended by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, saluted singer-songwriter Carole King, actresses Cicely Tyson and Rita Moreno, filmmaker George Lucas and conductor Seiji Ozawa. It was hosted by "The Late Show"'s Stephen Colbert.
"The Kennedy Center Honors recognizes the extraordinary and unparalleled talents of individuals whose impact and genius have left an indelible mark on civilization," stated Kennedy Center chairman David M. Rubenstein in an earlier statement. "Quite simply, our Honorees represent the voices, soundtracks, and stories of our personal lives and memories."
See Lin-Manuel Miranda, Viola Davis, Sara Bareilles and More at the Kennedy Center Honors
According to CBS, Miranda gave a spoken tribute honoring Moreno. He was joined by Olivo, who performed "America," Academy Award nominee Rosie Perez, who performed "Fever" and Gina Rodriguez, who also gave a spoken tribute.
In honoring King, current star of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Chilina Kennedy, performed "So Far Away" with Scott J. Campbell. They were joined by Paul Anthony Stewart who gave a spoken tribute; Bareilles, who performed "You've Got a Friend"; Janelle Monáe, who performed "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" and "One Fine Day"; James Taylor, who performed "Up on the Roof"; and Aretha Franklin, who performed "Natural Woman." Spoken tributes were also given by Fences star Davis, opera singer and Broadway actress Renee Flemming, actor, writer and filmmaker Tyler Perry, Emmy nominee Kerry Washington, and Oscar-winning directors Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese, among others.
Rock group the Eagles were previously announced as 2015 honorees but due to health concerns for band member Glenn Frey, the center announced it would postpone the presentation of a Kennedy Center Honors with hopes to include the group among the 2016 recipients.
The Kennedy Center Honors medallions were presented Dec. 5, the night before the gala. The gala was recorded for broadcast on the CBS Network as a two-hour primetime special. Visit CBS.com for more information.