Gloria Estefan to Host This Year’s Kennedy Center Honors

Gloria Estefan is returning with Honors

The 63-year-old Cuban Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and actress will host the 43rd Annual Kennedy Center Honors in June.

Gloria Estefan

It’ll be her second time hosting the event, following her previous stint as emcee in 2018.

The event will be broadcast on CBS on Sunday, June 6, 8:00 pm ET/PT, and will available to stream live and on demand on the CBS app and Paramount+.

Estefan received a Kennedy Center Honors in 2017.

This year’s previously announced recipients are Dick Van Dyke, Debbie Allen, Joan Baez, Garth Brooks and violinist Midori.

CBS has broadcast the event every year since it’s debut 43 years ago.

Traditionally held in early December, last year’s Kennedy Center Honors special was postponed until May 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Joan Baez Among This Year’s Recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors

Joan Baez is set to receive a special honor in Our Nation’s Capital.

The 80-year-old half-Mexican American contemporary folk singer has been selected to receive the 43rd Kennedy Center Honors alongside Garth Brooks, violinist Midori, choreographer Debbie Allen and the ageless Dick Van Dyke.

Joan Baez

“It has been my life’s joy to make art,” said Baez in a statement. It’s also been my life’s joy to make, as the late Congressman John Lewis called it, ‘good trouble.’ What luck to have been born with the ability to do both; each one giving strength and credibility to the other.”

Traditionally held in December, the 2020 edition of the Kennedy Center Honors was postponed to May 2021 due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Live events and filming are planned for the week of May 17-22. The Honors Gala will be recorded for broadcast on CBS as a two-hour primetime special that will air on June 6 at 9:00 pm ET/PT.

But the pandemic will have an impact on how the event is staged, with live-filmed tributes and virtual moments to take the place of the traditional event in a packed Kennedy Center Opera House.

“The center’s entire campus will come alive with small, in-person events and re-envisioned virtual tributes. Featuring multiple events for physically-distant audiences in locations across the Kennedy Center’s campus…Programs for each event will encompass both performances and speaking tributes for the honorees,” according to a statement. “Virtual events will also be held throughout the week beginning May 17, and the viability of additional in-person events will be considered as COVID-19 safety protocols evolve over the upcoming months…An honoree medallion ceremony for the honorees and a limited audience will be hosted by the Kennedy Center during [the week of] May 17–22.”

Joan Baez

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to attend the Honors Gala, as presidents traditionally have done (barring a national crisis). Donald Trump was the first president to decline the invitation every year of his term.

This is the first time in five years that a majority of the honorees have been women. Carole King, Rita Moreno and Cicely Tyson were three of the five honorees in 2015.

“The Kennedy Center Honors serves as a moment to celebrate the remarkable artists who have spent their lives elevating the cultural history of our nation and world,” said David M. Rubenstein, Kennedy Center Chairman.

Here’s a look at each of this year’s honorees:

Joan Baez: The folk legend had three top 10 albums on the Billboard 200 in the 1960s, including Farewell, Angelina. Her classic version of Robbie Robertson’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971. Baez was just 21 when she made the cover of Time in November 1962. Baez has one of the longest spans of Grammy nominations in history, from 1962 to 2018. She has yet to win a Grammy in competition (despite nine nods), but she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy in 2007.

Garth Brooks: The country star, 58, is one of the best-selling recording artists in history. The RIAA lists him second only to The Beatles, with 157 million albums sold in the U.S. (compared to 183 million for the Fab Four). He has had nine No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200, including Ropin’ the Wind, which topped the chart for 18 weeks, still the record for a country album. Brooks has amassed 14 CMA Awards, including a record seven awards for entertainer of the year. He was artist of the decade for the 1990s at the ACM Awards. He has won two Grammys. He received the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song last year. He made the cover of Time in 1992 in a story headlined “Country’s Big Boom.”

Midori: The Japanese-born American violinist, 49, was just 19 when she received her first (and to date only) Grammy nomination for best classical performance, instrumental soloist (without orchestra) for the album Paganini: 24 Caprices For Solo Violin Op. 1. She made her debut with the New York Philharmonic at age 11 as a surprise guest soloist at the New Year’s Eve Gala in 1982. 

Dick Van Dyke: The actor, 95, won three Emmys for The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-66), which is widely regarded as the granddaddy of smart, sophisticated sitcoms. He also won an Emmy in 1977 for Van Dyke & Company, which took outstanding variety or music series. He was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1995. He won a Tony in 1961 for Bye, Bye Birdie (in which he introduced the jaunty “Put on a Happy Face”) and a Grammy for 1964’s Mary Poppins (in which he took the lead in singing the Oscar-winning “Chim Chim Cher-ee”).

Debbie Allen: The actress, dancer, choreographer, singer-songwriter, director and producer, 70, has won three Emmys for choreography: two for Fame and one for Motown 30: What’s Goin’ On. She also received two Tony nods for acting in revivals of West Side Story (1980) and Sweet Charity (1986). She is a former member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

Joan Baez to Receive the Woody Guthrie Prize

Joan Baez is being heralded in a big way…

The 79-year-old half-Mexican American singer-songwriter has been named this year’s recipient of the Woody Guthrie Prize, in recognition of her “groundbreaking career and impact on humanitarian causes.”

Joan Baez

Baez, a legendary folk singer, activist and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, is the first Latina/o artist to win the award.

She’ll be inducted on Saturday, August 16 during a virtual edition of the Philadelphia Folk Festival.

The prize was established in 2014 and is given each year to an artist who best exemplifies the spirit and life work of Woody Guthrie by speaking for the less fortunate and serving as a positive force for social change.

Baez “has consistently been on the front lines in the fight for social justice, peace, and equality,” comments Woody Guthrie Center director Deana McCloud in a statement.

Baez joins previous recipients of the award John MellencampKris KristoffersonMavis StaplesPete Seeger and last year’s winner, Public Enemy‘s Chuck D.

“It has been my mission to use my music as a voice for those who cannot be heard or have been silenced by fear and powerlessness,” Baez said.

Baez’s 25th and final studio album Whistle Down The Wind, her first new LP in nearly a decade, arrived in early 2018.

A New York native, Baez was inducted into the Rock Hall in 2017.

Baez Among the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

Joan Baez is celebrating a special feat…

The 75-year-old Mexican American folk singer, songwriter, musician, and activist will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Joan Baez

Baez, a first-time nominee, will be joined by Pearl Jam, JourneyElectric Light OrchestraTupac Shakur and Yes as the shrine’s 2017 inductees.

Baez, whose contemporary folk music often includes songs of protest or social justice, began her recording career in 1960 and achieved immediate success. Her first three albums, Joan BaezJoan Baez, Vol. 2, and Joan Baez in Concert all achieved gold record status and stayed on the Billboard and other record album charts for two years.

Her songs of acclaim include “Diamonds & Rust” and covers of Phil Ochs‘ “There but for Fortune” and The Band‘s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down“. She is also known for “Farewell, Angelina“, “Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word“, “Forever Young“,”Joe Hill“, “Sweet Sir Galahad” and “We Shall Overcome.”

Joan Baez

Baez, who performed three songs at the 1969 Woodstock Festival, has displayed a lifelong commitment to political and social activism in the fields of nonviolence, civil rights, human rights and the environment.

“I never considered myself to be a rock and roll artist,” said Baez, who received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2011, in a statement. “But as part of the folk music boom which contributed to and influenced the rock revolution of the 60’s, I am proud that some of the songs I sang made their way into the rock lexicon. I very much appreciate this honor and acknowledgement by the Hall of Fame.”

The 32nd annual Rock Hall induction ceremony will take place on April 7 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. SiriusXM will broadcast the ceremony live and it will again be filmed for a later telecast on HBO.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum in Cleveland will open a special exhibit on March 30 to honor the 2017 inductees.

Isaac to Perform Live at Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of “Inside Llewyn Davis”

Oscar Isaac will be singing the blues to promote his latest film…

The 33-year-old Guatemalan and Cuban American actor will be performing at Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis, based on the film which stars Isaac as struggling musician meandering through New York City’s 1960s folk scene.

Oscar Isaac in Inside Llewyn Davis

In addition to Isaac, the benefit concert – which shines a spotlight on the Joel and Ethan Coen-directed film that earned the Grand Prix award at the Cannes Film Festival in May – will feature performances by Avett Brothers, Joan Baez, Colin Meloy of The Decemberists, Marcus Mumford, Conor Oberst, Patti Smith, Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings and Jack White. Additionally, the films other stars Carey Mulligan, John Goodman and Stark Sands are set to perform.

The benefit concert will take place on September 29 at The Town Hall in New York City.

The folk bill is inspired by the Coen brothers film. Joel and Ethan Coen and T Bone Burnett are producing the event, with some of the proceeds benefiting the National Recording Preservation Foundation.

Tickets go on sale on Wednesday, August 21.

CBS Films will release Inside Llewyn Davis on December 6.