Kennedy Center Honors
Billy Joel, Carlos Santana and Herbie Hancock were among the recipients at the 36th Annual Kennedy Center Honors.
Billy Joel joined Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, opera star Martina Arroyo and actress Shirley MacLaine in receiving the Kennedy Center Honors.
Carlos Santana and Billy Joel lead this year’s honorees at the 36th Annual Kennedy Center Honors Ceremony, which highlights artists for their lifetime contributions to American culture. Also honored this year: funk/jazz legend Herbie Hancock, opera singer Martina Arroyo and actress Shirley MacLaine.
On December 26th, 2012 the Kennedy Center Honors had Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart perform the iconic Led Zeppelin ballad “Stairway To Heaven” along with the son of John Bonham, Jason Bonham on drums.
As 2012 comes to a close, we’re revisiting the year’s biggest stories through the lens of some of our station’s biggest artists. They’re still one of the most popular bands ever: Led Zeppelin. Status: Defunct since 1980. New Albums Released: Celebration Day, a live album and film from their one-off 2007 reunion concert.
Led Zeppelin fans, here’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. Tonight (December 26), the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony finally airs on CBS (9 p.m. ET/PT), at which point the Zep tributes from Heart, Foo Fighters, Jack Black and Kid Rock will be revealed for all the world to see.
“I’m enjoying life and spending more time in America now. I really enjoy it. I’m becoming way more aware and opinionated and stimulated by these new adventures. Everybody says I’m workaholic, and I just keep going and going. And I will do that (again).” — Robert Plant
John Paul Jones played on the Foo Fighters’ 2005 album “In Your Honor” (playing mandolin on “Another Round” and piano on “Miracle”), and at the 2008 Grammys, he conducted an orchestra that backed the Foo Fighters on their performance of “The Pretender.” Grohl tells CBS Local that actually being in a band with the man meant a great deal to him.
Letterman was clearly unaware of Page and Jones’ histories as session musicians before they formed Zeppelin, so Plant pointed that they’d both played on a lot of records, and joked that during that time he was working “on the blacktop” and John Bonham was stealing cars. Letterman’s response: “And had you mentioned the part about stealing cars to the Kennedy Center people?”
Clearly, it was a departure for the Kennedy Center Honors. Now in it’s 35th year, the ceremony started out by paying tribute to cultural icons like Fred Astaire, Ella Fitzgerald and Tennessee Williams. In recent years, rock has been represented more and more at this prestigious event, with Paul McCartney, Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, Elton John and Bruce Springsteen all collecting the Kennedy Center medallion. But past ceremonies probably never got as loud as this year’s.