By Raymond Ward, Chicago Crusader
FINALLY!: At long last…the legendary dancer/actress/choreographer Carmen de Lavallade has been named a recipient of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts last week announced the selection of five Honorees who will receive the 2017 Kennedy Center Honors. Recipients to be honored at the 40th annual national celebration of the arts are: American dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, Cuban American singer-songwriter and actress Gloria Estefan, American Hip Hop artist and entertainment icon LL Cool J, American television writer and producer Norman Lear, and American musician and record producer Lionel Richie.
“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 rap artist LL Cool J taught the world how to rhyme as one of the pioneers of theHip 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.”
“This is a truly exceptional slate of Honorees—made even more special by the fact that we will honor these artists as we also celebrate four decades of the Kennedy Center Honors,” said Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter. “Each of this year’s Honorees became known to and lov ed by the world because of their complete originality and bold genius. They are creators of the highest order, and as President Kennedy’s living memorial, the Ken- nedy Center is proud to shine a light on their boundless contributions to the human spirit.”
Throughout its 40-year history, the annual Honors Gala has become the highlight of the Washington cultural and society calendar, and its national broadcast on CBS is a high point of the television season.
On Sunday, December 3rd, in a star-studded celebration on the Kennedy Center Opera House stage, the 2017 Honorees will be saluted by today’s leading performers from New York, Hollywood, and the arts capitals of the world.
The Honors Gala will be recorded for broadcast on the CBS Network for the 40th consecutive year as a two-hour prime time special on Tuesday, December 26 at 8:00 p.m.