The Kennedy Center Honors announced today that its honorees for 2017 will be actress Carmen de Lavallade, singer Gloria Estefan, hip hop artist LL COOL J, television writer and producer Norman Lear and renowned musician Lionel Richie.
They will be recognized during The 40th Annual Kennedy Centers Honors to be broadcast Tuesday, December 26th at 9PM Eastern on CBS.
In a statement, Kennedy Center Chairman David Rubenstein said, “The Kennedy Center Honors spotlights the extraordinary careers of five artists whose talent and ingenuity have enriched and shaped cultural life in America.”
The Honors recipients are recognized for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts – whether in dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures or television – and are confirmed by the executive committee of the center’s board of trustees.
The primary criterion in the selection process is excellence. The honors are not designated by art form or category of artistic achievement; over the years, the selection process has produced a balance among the various arts and artistic disciplines.