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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Kennedy Center Prize U2, George Clooney and Tania Lyon

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – It will be a “beautiful day” in December for band U2 and four other artists to be recognized with the Kennedy Center Honors.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday announced Irish rock band actor George Clooney, singers Gladys Knight and Amy Grant, and Cuban musician Tania Leone as this year’s honorees.

The center usually honors five people annually for influencing American culture through the arts, but sometimes also recognizes the influence of marching bands and other groups. Disco-funk outfit Earth, Wind & Fire was the most recent, in 2019, the same year the children’s TV show “Sesame Street” was honored. The Eagles were honored in 2016 and Led Zeppelin in 2012.

Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter said in an interview that his group worked hard to include all the performing arts in award shows. He sang Grant’s music as a distinct genre specially presented in this year’s honor.

“We’ve had gospel before. We’ve had a lot of R&B and soul… We have country music, but we don’t necessarily have Amy Grant and Christian pop in the same way,” he centered on LL. Said comparing Grant’s inclusion to tribute. In Cool J 2017, a hip hop artist was among the first recipients of the honor.

This is the 45th year of the honour, which will include a gala with the participation of great artists in Washington on December 4. The show will air on CBS at a later date.

Rutter said that “it’s not (rewarded) about a job that’s popular this year. Or a movie. Or a piece of choreography.” It’s about “achievements of a lifetime.”

Here’s a look at the honorees:

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U 2

Rutter reported that U2 frontman Bono was eating and dropped his fork when he was told the band had been chosen for the honor. But it took a while for him to accept because Bono had to convince his teammates (The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr.) to participate and they weren’t all in the same place, Rutter said.

U2 has sold 170 million records and received 22 Grammy Awards. His epic singles include “I Still Have Not Found What I’m Looking For”, “Pride (In the Name of Love)” and “Sunday Bloody Sunday”.

In a thank you message to the Kennedy Center, the band mentioned that it performed its first concert in the United States in 1980 in New York. The other was in Washington.

“We had big dreams at the time, inspired by the common belief at home that America smiles at Ireland. And it turned out to be true, once again. But even in our wildest thoughts, we never imagined that 40 years later we’d be in the country. U2 said in a statement calling America “a home away from home.”

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George Clooney

Clooney, who played cunning thief Danny Ocean in “Ocean’s Eleven” and its sequel, won’t need to come up with any kind of plan to take the Kennedy Center Honors home.

The 61-year-old actor-director has won two Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor for “Syriana” and Oscar-winning Best Producer for “Argo” and starred in films such as “O Brother, Where Art”. You? (“Where Are You, Brother?”), “Up in the Air” (“Non-Stop Love”), “Michael Collins” (“The Price of Freedom”) and “The Descendants” (“Descendants”).

“Growing up in a small town in Kentucky, I never imagined that one day I would sit on the balcony of the Kennedy Center Honors,” Clooney said in a statement. “To your whole family.”

Clooney and his wife, British human rights lawyer Amal Clooney have 5-year-old twins. Clooney came to prominence on the television series “ER”, in which he played Dr. Doug Ross. His directing credits include “Good Night, and Good Luck”. (“Good Night, and Good Luck.”), “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” (“Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”) and “The Tender Bar”.

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Gladys Knight

Knight, 78, is the only one of this year’s honorees to perform at the Kennedy Center Honors. In 2021, the eight-time Grammy winner sang Garth Brooks’ “We Shall Be Free” in honor of the country music singer, who wiped his eye and kissed her after her performance.

Knight, who recorded such soul classics as “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and “Midnight Train to Georgia” with his group The Pips, said he never expected to be on the other side of the stage. Had it. When she learned that the Kennedy Center wanted to honor her, her response was, “What?”

“I just couldn’t believe it, so here we are,” he said in an interview. “I love the fact that they thought of me. I don’t take anything like that lightly.”

Knight joined Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Dion Warwick for the 1985 hit “That’s What Friends Are For”. Wonder was honored by the Kennedy Center in 1999 and John in 2004.

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amy grant

It’s already been a good year for Grant, winner of six Grammy Awards. Their daughter Miley, which inspired their 1991 hit “Baby Baby”, gave birth to a daughter, Penelope Willow.

The Christian music star has two other grandchildren through her husband, the daughter of country musician Vince Gill.

Grant, 61, said in an interview that when he heard about the Kennedy Center, he initially thought it was the honor he wanted to pay to Gill. “He has performed at the Kennedy Center Awards several times. I haven’t even been to the ceremony. I’ve never been his partner,” he said.

The singer, also known for “Every Heartbeat” and “That’s What Love Is For”, has roots in gospel music, but found a wider audience with the release of her 1991 album “Heart in Motion”.

Grant said he currently has two songs to record in the studio, including a Christmas song that will be part of a Hallmark film. “Like many good songs, this one came out of a therapy session,” he said.

She said that one of the things that energizes her at this point in her life is “creating conversation circles to help solve problems” such as being homeless and homeless in her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee.

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Tania Sher

He said composer and conductor Tania Lyonne had worked with the Kennedy Center several times, so when she received an email to set up the call she didn’t think it was “anything spectacular”. But she was stunned when she was told that the Center wanted to honor her.

Lyonne, 79, said this is the second time she has been “a bit paralyzed” from a phone call. The second was when she was called to reveal that she had won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Music for her orchestral work “Stride”.

Born in Havana, Leon is a founding member of the Dance Theater of Harlem and has been a guest conductor for orchestras around the world. Currently, he said he is working on a short solo piece to be released next week and an orchestral piece, among other things. She’s happy to be engaged, she said, explaining that her mantra is, “We’re going to die for a long time.”

“We have to live to the fullest and do what we can while we’re alive,” he said.

World Nation News Desk
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