Kennedy Center Announces Next Honorees: Joni Mitchell, Bette Midler, Berry Gordy, Lorne Michaels And Justino Díaz

(L-R) Justino Díaz, Berry Gordy, Lorne Michaels, Bette Midler and Joni Mitchell CBS

The Kennedy Center announced its next choices for the annual Kennedy Center Honors, with plans to return the ceremony to its traditional time and format in December.

The recipients for the December 5 event will be singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, actress and singer Bette Midler, Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels, Motown Record founder and producer Berry Gordy and bass-baritone Justino Diaz.

CBS will broadcast the 44th annual ceremony, and it will be live streamed on Paramount+ and available on demand.

The Kennedy Center Honors traditionally takes place in the first weekend of December, with events at the White House and the State Department preceding the ceremony at the Kennedy Center Opera House. But because of Covid-19, the most recent honors were postponed until May this year, with the ceremony spread out over several days with a mix of indoor and outdoor events, some in person and some pre-taped. Instead of a White House reception, President Joe Biden had a smaller gathering of the honorees.

In a statement, Kennedy Center president Deborah Rutter said, “After the challenges and heartbreak of the last many months, and as we celebrate 50 years of the Kennedy Center, I dare add that we are prepared to throw ‘the party to end all parties’ in D.C. on Dec. 5th, feting these extraordinary people and welcoming audiences back to our campus.”

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