Al Pacino, rock band Eagles, Argentinean pianist Martha Argerich and musicians Mavis Staples and James Taylor have been set to be honored at the 39th annual Kennedy Center Honors, which will air December 27 on CBS. The network has broadcast the special each year.
The honors are bestowed on for lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts and are confirmed by the executive committee of the Kennedy Center’s Board of Trustees.
The Oscar- and Tony-winning Pacino also has received they Golden Globes’ Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement and the AFI Life Achievement Award. In 2011 he was given the National Merit of Arts from President Barack Obama; the president and first lady are regular attendees at the Kennedy Center event, officially receiving the honorees along with the center’s Board of Trustees at the White House prior to the performance and gala at the Kennedy Center Opera House.
Rock icons Eagles had been set to be among the honorees last year, but they pushed it back because of the health of co-founder Glenn Frey. He died in January at age 67. Frey had starred in the short-lived CBS series South Of Sunset — only the pilot aired in fall 1993 before it was canceled.
Last year, the Kennedy Center Honors hosted by Stephen Colbert drew a 0.9 rating in adults 18-49 and 7.5 million viewers, tying an all-time low in the demo. Last year’s recipients were George Lucas, Rita Moreno, Cicely Tyson, Seiji Ozawa and Carole King.