Sting, Al Green, Tom Hanks Named Kennedy Center Honorees - Rolling Stone
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Sting, Al Green, Tom Hanks Named Kennedy Center Honorees

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singers and ‘Forrest Gump’ actor honored for “elevating the cultural vibrancy of our nation and the world”

Kennedy Center HonorsKennedy Center Honors

Actor and filmmaker Tom Hanks, singer-songwriter Sting, singer Al Green, from left to right bottom row: ballerina Patricia McBride and comedienne Lily Tomlin at the U.S. Department of State on December 6, 2014 in Washington, D.C.

Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images

Sting, Al Green and Tom Hanks are among this year’s Kennedy Center Honorees. The two Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singers and Forrest Gump actor, along with comedian Lily Tomlin and ballerina Patricia McBride, will be celebrated in a ceremony at the White House Sunday before heading to a star-studded celebration attended by President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama at the Kennedy Center Opera House. While that event takes place Sunday night, the 37th Annual Kennedy Center Honors will be broadcast December 30th on CBS.

“The Kennedy Center celebrates five extraordinary individuals who have spent their lives elevating the cultural vibrancy of our nation and the world,” Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein said in a statement. “Al Green’s iconic voice stirs our souls in a style that is all his own; Sting’s unique voice and memorable songwriting have entertained audiences for decades.”

Sting’s Kennedy Center honor comes almost five years to the day that the Police singer attended the 2009 ceremony to perform Bruce Springsteen’s “The Rising” when the E Street Band frontman was feted by the Kennedy Center. Sting recently added playwright to his list of achievements after his 2013 album The Last Ship was transformed into a Broadway musical. Sting himself will perform in the musical from December 9th until January 10, 2015, portraying the foreman at a shipyard in the play that retells the Sting’s own childhood experiences.

Last year’s Kennedy Center Honors recipients included Billy Joel, Carlos Santana and Herbie Hancock. Paul McCartney, Led Zeppelin, Buddy Guy and Merle Haggard have also received the honor in recent years.


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