2022 Kennedy Center Honorees Revealed

by Lauren Boisvert

The 45th annual Kennedy Center Honors will take place on December 4, 2022 on CBS, and the honorees for this year have been revealed. George Clooney, Gladys Knight, Amy Grant, U2, and composer Tania León will receive this year’s honors.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC bestows the honors every year, beginning in 1978. The honors are given to performing artists who have impressive bodies of work across many different fields of entertainment. These include theater, dance, music, film, television, or opera. Honorees have proven that their lifetime of work has contributed significantly to American culture.

The first recipients of the honors in 1978 were opera singer Marian Anderson; actor and singer Fred Astaire; ballet choreographer George Balanchine; composer Richard Rogers; and pianist Arthur Rubinstein. The 43rd Honors saw Garth Brooks getting emotional, and Bette Midler admitted she was “on cloud 9” during the 44th ceremony.

About the 2022 Kennedy Center Honorees

We know George Clooney because of his incredible contributions to filmmaking, both as an actor and director. He’s most recognizable from 2001’s “Ocean’s Eleven,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” and the ever-criticized but cult phenomenon “Batman & Robin” from 1997. As a filmmaker, he has directed 9 films. These include “The Ides of March,” “Leatherheads,” “The Midnight Sky,” and “The Tender Bar,” among others.

Gladys Knight is known as the Empress of Soul, which is a fair description of her contribution to music. She’s a seven-time Grammy Award winner, and had a number of hits in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. She began her career with her brother and cousins, who formed the group The Pips. The group was huge in the Motown scene and frequently opened for Diana Ross and The Supremes. In her solo career, she notably recorded the title track for the 1989 James Bond film “Licence to Kill.” She and The Pips are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1996.

Rock Band, Christian Singer, and Cuban-American Composer Also Honored

Irish rock band U2 will also be honored. The band consists of members Bono with lead vocals, The Edge on lead guitar and backing vocals, Adam Clayton on bass guitar, and Larry Mullen Jr. on drums and percussion. The band formed in Dublin in 1976. While they initially explored post-punk themes, the band’s musical style has evolved with the years.

Additionally, Amy Grant and Tania León will receive honors. Amy Grant is referred to as The Queen of Christian Pop. She began in contemporary Christian music early in her career, but began working in pop genres in the 80s and 90s. She’s a six-time Grammy Award winner, and she is the first artist to have a Platinum Christian album. Tania León is a Cuban-American composer. She was a founding member of Arthur Mitchell’s Dance Theater of Harlem, and became the first musical director there in 1969. The Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College named León the Tow Distinguished Professor in 2000. She has taught there since 1985.