The Legendary Artists Receiving 2016 Kennedy Center Honors

By Jasmine Lee

“The Kennedy Center Honors celebrates the spectacular talents of artists whose brilliance has left a lasting impact on our society.” — Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein

Tune in: The 39th Annual Kennedy Center Honors will air on Tuesday, Dec. 27 at 9/8c on CBS and CBS All Access. Explore an extensive video gallery of Kennedy Center Honors highlights from over the years.

Photo: John Filo / CBS

Martha Argerich

A child prodigy on the piano, Martha Argerich has wowed millions with her solo and ensemble performances. Her command of the ivory keys is unmatched and her interpretations of classics such as Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 are filled with powerful emotion.

Al Pacino

From mafia dons to the cops that chase them, football coaches to the devil, Al Pacino adds gravitas to every character he inhabits. No character is easily seen as all villain or hero with the multidimensional layers he brings to the screen.

The Eagles

For five decades The Eagles have been a staple of American rock music to a global audience. With timeless songs like Take it Easy and Desperado, their album Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) became the bestselling album of the 20th century.

Mavis Staples

Starting her career off in the family group The Staple Singers, Mavis Staples is equally known for her voice as well as her activism during the Civil Rights Movement. She continues to perform with new works and classic songs like Respect Yourself and I’ll Take You There.

James Taylor

James Taylor has recorded hit songs since the 1960’s that continue to be standards in the American cannon of music. His influence is still felt with staples like You’ve Got a Friend, Fire and Rain, and Something In The Way She Moves.