The 2017 Kennedy Center Honorees include singer-songwriter Gloria Estefan, whose life is explored in the Broadway musical On Your Feet!, as well as actor, dancer, and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, whose Broadway credits include A Streetcar Named Desire and House of Flowers.
Rounding out this year's recipients are hip hop artist LL COOL J, television writer and producer Norman Lear, and musician and record producer Lionel Richie.
These artists will be recognized during The 40th Annual Kennedy Center Honors, which will be broadcast December 26 at 9 PM ET on CBS. CBS has broadcast the special each year since its debut 40 years ago.
“The Kennedy Center Honors spotlights the extraordinary careers of five artists whose talent and ingenuity have enriched and shaped cultural life in America,” stated Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein. “Carmen de Lavallade is a national treasure whose elegance and talent as a dancer led to a career touching many art forms; international superstar Gloria Estefan has influenced American music through her infectious Miami sound; landmark hip hop artist LL COOL J taught the world how to rhyme as one of the pioneers of the hip hop phenomenon; Norman Lear spoke to the human condition and sparked poignant cultural conversations with some of the most epochal TV sitcoms of the 20th century; and Lionel Richie’s irresistibly recognizable melodies capture the heart and transcend generations.”
In a star-studded celebration on the Kennedy Center Opera House stage on December 3, the 2017 honorees will be saluted by performers from New York, Hollywood, and the arts capitals of the world. The honorees will accept the recognition and gratitude of their peers through performances and tributes.