Enstars Reveals The Kennedy Center Honors’ Most Memorable Performances
On Tuesday, The Kennedy Center Honors will present its 40th celebration. To commemorate this tremendous milestone, Enstars is revealing our favorite performances of all-time!
Bruce Springsteen: "The Times They Are A-Changin'" [Bob Dylan-1997]
Before he took both Broadway and the Super Bowl by storm, Bruce Springsteen honored the greatest songwriter in rock and roll history: Mr. Bob Dylan. Springsteen delivered an honest and frank interpretation of "The Times They Are A-Changin'" that reflected a period of strife in the United States.
Stevie Wonder And Ray Charles: "Let The Good Times Roll" [Quincy Jones-2001]
Two iconic music legends paid homage to one of the most successful record producers of all-time. 1999 Kennedy Center Honoree Stevie Wonder kicked off the tribute with a rousing cover of "Let the Good Times Roll." When Ray Charles appeared to conclude the first segment of the performance, the entire Kennedy Center audience roared with delight.
Alicia Keys: "Bridge Over Troubled Water" [Paul Simon-2002]
During Alicia Keys' early years of her career, the "If I Ain't Got You" singer-songwriter paid homage to Paul Simon. She tackled "Bridge Over Troubled Water," Simon's legendary song with Art Garfunkel. Keys made an excellent impression on the audience and eventually lead her to coach aspiring artists on The Voice.
Billy Joel: "Bennie And The Jets"/ "The Bitch Is Back" [Elton John-2004]
The "Piano Man" was the only music legend who could bring Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin's songbook to life. Joel visited the Kennedy Center Honors to pay homage to his longtime friend and mashed up "Bennie and the Jets" and "The Bitch is Back." Joel's performance set the tone for Elton's tribute and showcased why he deserved a Kennedy Center Honor. Joel earned his award in 2013.
Carrie Underwood And Kenny Rogers: "Islands In The Stream" [Dolly Parton- 2006]
During Carrie Underwood's first year after winning American Idol, the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts invited her to perform at the 2006 ceremony to honor Dolly Parton. Underwood performed "Islands in the Stream" with Parton's longtime friend, Kenny Rogers. The duo created magic and Parton was thrilled with the performance.
Yolanda Adams: "Reach Out And Touch (Somebody's Hand)" [Diana Ross-2007]
Ten years ago, gospel singer Yolanda Adams took the Kennedy Center to church when she performed Diana Ross's epic anthem. The gospel singer delivered a powerful interpretation of "Reach Out And Touch (Somebody's Hand)," thanks to a massive choir that moved Ms. Ross to tears.
Beyonce: "The Way We Were" [Barbra Streisand-2008]
Years before Mrs. Knowles-Carter's social media feed blew up the internet, the "Formation" singer performed at the Kennedy Center Honors. Beyonce paid homage to the luminary entertainment icon, Oscar, and Grammy-winner Barbra Streisand. Knowles-Carter's gorgeous cover of "The Way We Were" earned a genuine smile from the entertainer.
Sting: "The Rising" [Bruce Springsteen-2009]
Sting was the final artist to pay homage to The Boss when the "Born to Run" singer-songwriter received the Kennedy Center honor. Sting's excellent interpretation of "The Rising" made former President Obama dance in the President's Box.
Ann And Nancy Wilson: "Stairway to Heaven" [Led Zeppelin-2012]
Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson collaborated with Led Zeppelin's drummer, John Bonham's son, Jason, for one of the best rock and roll performances in the ceremony's history. The trio along with a massive choir tackled Led Zeppelin's monstrous song: "Stairway to Heaven." The performance moved both Robert Plant and Jimmy Paige to tears and brought the Kennedy Center audience to its feet."
Lady Gaga: "If I Ever Lose My Faith In You" [Sting-2014]
Years before she dominated the Super Bowl and signed a 2-year Las Vegas residency deal, Lady Gaga was taking the music world by storm. She paid homage to British rocker Sting and delivered an epic cover of "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You" that moved Sting to tears.
Aretha Franklin: "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" [Carole King-2015]
The Queen of Soul made a rare appearance to celebrate Carole King. One of Franklin's legendary songs, "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," was penned by King and her ex-husband, Gerry Coffin. The music legend brought down the house with an epic vocal performance that made King giddy with delight and made former President Obama weep.
CBS will air the 40th Anniversary of The Kennedy Center Honors on Tuesday, Dec. 26. This year's honorees are Gloria Estefan, LL Cool J, Norman Lear, Carmen de Lavallade, and Lionel Richie.