Kennedy Center Honors Pay Tribute To Lionel Richie, Gloria Estefan & More

Kennedy center honors, lionel richie, gloria estefan, ll cool jThe Kennedy Center Honors honored actress, dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, singer-songwriter and actress Gloria Estefan, hip hop artist LL COOL J, television writer and producer Norman Lear and renowned musician and record producer Lionel Richie.

They were recognized during THE 40th ANNUAL KENNEDY CENTER HONORS on Sunday night, which will air Tuesday, Dec. 26 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on CBS. 

The following star performers and figures paid tribute to each honoree….


Gloria Estefan

Multiple GRAMMY Award-winning singer, songwriter, actress and businesswoman



Eva Longoria (Spoken Tribute)

Actress, producer, director, activist and businesswoman



The Cast of “On Your Feet! The Musical” (Performs “1, 2, 3”)

Broadway musical based on the life and music of Gloria and Emilio Estefan



Chaka Khan (Performs “Coming Out of the Dark” with the Howard University Gospel Choir)

Multiple GRAMMY Award-winning recording artist



Jon Secada (Spoken Tribute)

Multiple GRAMMY Award-winning singer and songwriter



Becky G (Performs “Mi Tierra”)

Singer, songwriter, rapper, actress and model



Emily Estefan (Performs “Reach”)

Daughter of Gloria and Emilio Estefan; drummer, guitarist, singer and songwriter



Miami Sound Machine (Performs “Rhythm is Gonna Get You”/“Oye”/ “Conga”/“Turn the Beat Around”/“Everlasting Love”/“Get on Your Feet”)

Latin-influenced band established by Emilio Estefan Jr. featuring the vocals of Gloria Estefan



Norman Lear

Multiple Emmy Award and Peabody Award-winning television writer, producer and political activist



J.J. Abrams (Spoken Tribute)

Multiple Emmy Award-winning director, producer, screenwriter, actor and composer



United States Airforce Singing Sergeants (Performs “America, the Beautiful”)



Dave Chappelle (Spoken Tribute)

Emmy Award-winning comedian, actor, writer and producer



Rob Reiner (Performance Tribute from “All in the Family”)

Multiple Emmy Award-winning actor, writer, director, producer and activist



Rachel Bloom (Performance Tribute from “Maude”)

Actress, comedian, writer and producer, currently starring in the television series CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND



Kenya Barris (Performance Tribute from “Good Times”)

Writer, producer and creator of numerous television shows and winner of the NAACP Image Award for “Black-ish”



Anthony Anderson (Performance Tribute from “The Jeffersons”)

Actor, comedian and writer; star and creator of the television comedy “Black-ish”



Rita Moreno (Performance Tribute from “One Day at a Time”)

Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Emmy Award, Tony Award and Grammy Award-winning actress and singer; 2015 Kennedy Center Honoree




Rapper, actor, author and entrepreneur



Queen Latifah (Spoken Tribute)

GRAMMY Award, Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winner, rapper, songwriter, singer, actress, model, television and record producer



Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (Spoken Tribute)

GRAMMY Award-winning instrumentalist, DJ and producer; co-founder of the band The Roots



DJ Z-Trip (Performance Tribute)

DJ and record producer



Busta Rhymes (Performs “Mama Said Knock You Out”)

Rapper, actor and record producer



MC Lyte (Performs “I’m Bad”)

Pioneering female rapper



Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter (Performs “It Gets No Rougher”)

Rapper, lead MC and co-founder of the band The Roots



Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels (Performs “Rock the Bells”)

Musician; founding member of the hip hop group Run-D.M.C.




Carmen de Lavallade

Actress, dancer and choreographer



Meryl Streep (Spoken Tribute)

Multiple Academy Award, Golden Globe Award and Emmy Award-winning actress and philanthropist



Jon Batiste (Performs “Soul Bossa Nova” with dancers Stella Abrera and Brandon Victor Dixon)

Singer, multi-instrumentalist, educator, comedian and bandleader for THE LATE SHOW with STEPHEN COLBERT



Sheléa Frazier (Performs “Wade in the Water” with dancers Alicia Graf Mack, Linda Celeste Sims and Matthew Rushing)

Singer and songwriter



Jacqueline Bolier (Performs “Deux Bourées: N’aï Pas léu De MîO” with dancer Lindsey Croop)




Misty Copeland (Spoken Tribute)

Ballet dancer for the American Ballet Theater



Rebecca Luker

(Performs “Bill” with dancers Misty Copeland and Tony nominee Robert Fairchild)

Tony Award-winning Broadway actress and singer



Finale Tribute Performance (Performance of “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” featuring all of the Carmen de Lavallade tribute participants and the Howard University Gospel Choir)




Lionel Richie

Multiple GRAMMY Award, Academy Award and Golden Globe Award-winning singer, songwriter, actor and record producer




Stevie Wonder (Performs “Hello” and “Easy”)

Multiple GRAMMY Award and Golden Globe Award-winning musician, singer, songwriter, record producer and multi-instrumentalist; 1999 Kennedy Center Honoree and recipient of the 2014 Presidential Medal of Freedom



Kenny Rogers (Spoken Tribute)

GRAMMY Award-winning singer, songwriter, actor and record producer



Luke Bryan (Performs “Penny Lover” and “Sail On”)

Country singer and songwriter



Quincy Jones (Spoken Tribute)

Multiple GRAMMY Award-winning record producer, actor, conductor, arranger, composer, musician, television producer, film producer, instrumentalist and humanitarian



Nicole Richie (Spoken Tribute)

Fashion designer, author, actress and television personality; daughter of Lionel Richie



Leona Lewis

(Performs “Say You Say Me” and “All Night Long”)

Singer and songwriter



Finale Tribute Performance (Reprise Performance of

“All Night Long,” featuring all of the Lionel Richie tribute participants)


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