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.

Becky G Joins United Nations Human Rights “We All Rise” Campaign on International Women’s Day

Becky G is commemorating International Women’s Day in a big way…

The 24-year-old Mexican American bilingual rapper/singer has joined the United Nations Human Rights on International Women’s Day (March 8) for the “We All Rise” campaign for gender equality during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Becky G

Becky G appears in the campaign alongside Celine Dion, Cher, Cyndi Lauper and many most stars.

The artists — joined by activist/tennis legend Billie Jean King, TV personality Padma Lakshmi, actors Renée Elise Goldsberry and Terry Crews, WNBA champ Sue Bird and singer/songwriter Amanda Shires — have partnered with the UN to select the 2021 We All Rise female empowerment anthem “Together We Are Stronger.”

The soaring song features KT Tunstall, Lolo, Devyn Lorea and Nikki Vianna, and was written by written by Morgan Dorr, Greg Hansen and Lorea, with production by the Highland Park Collective.

We All Rise aims to reach more than 150 million with its first effort, described in a release as a “celebrity-driven social media campaign promoting gender equality as a fundamental human right essential to achieving a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.” The coalition of celebrities and advocates participating in the effort also includes LeAnn Rimes, Dionne Warwick, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Liv Warfield, Blair Underwood, Gloria Estefan, Naomi Campbell, Bridget Moynihan, and Debbie Allen.

“Gender equality is one of the fundamental values of the United Nations and lies at the very heart of human rights,” said Veronica Birga, chief of the Women’s Rights and Gender Section of United Nations Human Rights in a statement. “That is why we are the global partner of WE ALL RISE, an exciting new initiative committed to promoting, protecting, and advancing the human rights of all women and girls around the world. Because gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, it is essential to achieving a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.”

The effort is one of many across the music world on Monday to celebrate International Women’s Day, including a playlist curated by BLACKPINK‘s Rosé and a remake of “I’m Every Woman” by Chaka Khan and Idina Menzel, among other efforts.

“Gender equality and the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women are fundamental human rights and core values of the United Nations,” added Trish Golden, president of We All Rise. “Together with our Global Partner, United Nations Human Rights, We All Rise is dedicated to promoting gender equality around the world and the human rights of women and girls, in all their diversity. When we support women’s rights, We All Rise together.”

The video for the inspiring “Together We Are Stronger” features images of women from around the world marching for equality and securing a future for girls and young women where they can achieve their goals.

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.

Cardi B Launches New Reality Series “Cardi Tries ___” for Facebook Watch

Cardi B isn’t afraid to try new things…

The 28-year-old half-Dominican American Grammy-winning rap superstar is inviting the world to experience new things alongside her with the new series Cardi Tries ___, which launched late last week.

Cardi B, ELLE, September Issue

From Facebook’s Messenger and Jesse Collins EntertainmentCardi Tries ___ is part of Messenger’s new “Watch Together” feature, which allows audiences to enjoy Facebook Watch videos with friends and family in real-time. The new series has the “WAP” rapper trying new things outside of her repertoire including becoming an expert stunt car racer, ballerina, firefighter, teacher — just to name a few.

Throughout the series, she’ll be joined by actors, athletes and other professionals like Michelle Rodriguez of Fast & Furious fame, Debbie Allen of Grey’s Anatomy, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers and country music singer and songwriter, Mickey Guyton, among others.

New episodes will drop Thursdays through February 4. Cardi B fans will be able to enjoy the show in real-time over video calls with friends on Instagram, Messenger and Messenger Rooms via Watch Together.

Executive producers are Cardi B, Jesse Collins, Dionne Harmon and Patientce Foster.