Today the Kennedy Center announced that the 41st annual Kennedy Center Honors would recognize four individual artists and, for the first time ever, a specific piece of contemporary art.
Singer/actress Cher, composer/pianist Philip Glass, country musician Reba McEntire and jazz saxophonist/composer Wayne Shorter will be given the coveted Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime artistic achievement. The co-creators of Hamilton —writer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Thomas Kail, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler and music director Alex Lacamoire —will also be honored for their role "as trailblazing creators of a transformative work that defies category."
“Historically, the Kennedy Center Honors has celebrated lifetime achievement," said Kennedy Center president Deborah F. Rutter in a press release. "In recognizing Hamilton and its co-creators, the Kennedy Center is making an unprecedented statement about an unprecedented work—a work that transcends cultural boundaries and tells America’s story in a powerful and contemporary way.”
As is tradition, each honoree will enjoy an introductory performance by surprise celeb guests. Honoree Reba McEntire has been a surprise guest for past honorees Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Lily Tomlin and Carol Burnett and says she "can't wait to see who they come up with for me."
Last year Donald and Melania Trump decided to skip the event, but no statement has been made yet as to whether the President and First Lady will attend.
The 2018 Kennedy Center Honors will take place on December 2 in the Kennedy Center Opera House. The show will be broadcast at 8 p.m. on December 26 on CBS.