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44th Kennedy Center winners include Bette Midler, Joni Mitchell, Lorne MichaelsExBulletin

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Bette Midler performs at the 91st Academy Awards at Dolby Theater on February 24, 2019 in Hollywood, California.,

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Kevin Winter / Getty Images


Bette Midler performs at the 91st Academy Awards at Dolby Theater on February 24, 2019 in Hollywood, California.,

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts today announced its 44th Lifetime Achievement Award winners. They are: founder of Motown Gordy Bay, opera star Justino daz, singer-songwriter Joni mitchell, host Bette means and television manager Lorne michaels, who created Saturday Night Live.

Bass-baritone Justino Daz, who performed at the inauguration of the Kennedy Center 50 years ago, is now one of its new winners.

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts


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John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts


Bass-baritone Justino Daz, who performed at the inauguration of the Kennedy Center 50 years ago, is now one of its new winners.

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Modeled after European honors such as the Order of Arts and Letters of France or the Order of the British Empire of the United Kingdom, the Kennedy Center Honors celebrate artists who changed American culture “not someone who has a pop record right now, ”in the words of Bernie Sofronski, a CBS producer who helped create the awards in 1978.

This year’s winners certainly qualify. Justino Daz performed at the inauguration of the Kennedy Center 50 years ago, appearing as the lead male role in Alberto Ginastera’s opera Beatrix Cenci. “With his distinguished and deeply resonant voice and historic opera career, Justino Daz has stood on the stages of the world’s greatest opera houses and is today one of the greatest bass baritones of our time,” Kennedy Center President David M. Rubenstein said. A declaration.

“Visionary music producer and songwriter Berry Gordy has brought the epitome of Detroit soul to every home in America,” continued Rubenstein, “elevating the Motown sound to become a national treasure.”

Berry Gordy speaks onstage at the Pre-Grammy Gala and Grammy Awards Honoring Industry Icons Honoring Sean “Diddy” Combs on January 25, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.

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Berry Gordy speaks onstage at the Pre-Grammy Gala and Grammy Awards Honoring Industry Icons Honoring Sean “Diddy” Combs on January 25, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.

Allen Berezovski / Getty Images

Gordy described himself as “thrilled” to join the legacy of Kennedy Center laureates. “Growing up in Detroit, I was not only black, but the ‘black sheep’ of my family,” he wrote in a statement. “I failed in everything I did until I was 29 … The arts not only give voice to the voiceless, but connect us, transform us and soothe our souls. Kennedy Center Honors embodies the recognition and value of both the Arts and the Artist. “

Television impresario Lorne Michaels, pictured here at the 2019 Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, is one of two Canadian-born Kennedy Center winners.

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Television impresario Lorne Michaels, pictured here at the 2019 Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, is one of two Canadian-born Kennedy Center winners.

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Two of the winners of this prestigious American art award were born in Canada. After moving from Toronto to Los Angeles in 1968, Lorne Michaels built a show that launched countless careers and catchphrases. Saturday Night Live, in the words of David Rubenstein, “is both the mirror and the muse of life in America.”

Joni Mitchell, pictured at the 2020 NAMM Show in Anaheim, Calif., Is among the latest Kennedy Center winners.

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Jesse Grant / Getty Images for NAMM


Joni Mitchell, pictured at the 2020 NAMM Show in Anaheim, Calif., Is among the latest Kennedy Center winners.

Jesse Grant / Getty Images for NAMM

Joni Mitchell, originally from Alberta and described by the Kennedy Center as “one of the most influential singer-songwriters and cultural figures in popular music of the 20th century,” responded to the announcement, including: “It’s far from Saskatoon.”

It was also a long road for Bette Midler, a Tony, Emmy and Grammy Award-winning artist who began performing in gay bathhouses in the 1970s. “I am deeply touched. by this honor, in fact, i am stunned and grateful beyond words, ”she wrote in a statement. “For many years, I watched this show celebrating the best performing arts talent America has to offer, and I really never imagined I would end up among these swans.”

The Kennedy Center Honors are typically advertised in the summer, shown in December, and then shown later on TV. This year’s awards are expected to be presented at a live gala on December 5, which will be taped for broadcast at a later date.

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2/ https://www.npr.org/2021/07/21/1018367381/bette-midler-and-joni-mitchell-are-among-the-newest-kennedy-center-honorees

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