The 41st annual Kennedy Center Honors event airs on December 26, 2018, though it was taped in early December 2018. The event was created to honor those with achievements in entertainment and this year’s honorees are Cher, composer Philip Glass, country star Reba McEntire, the “Hamilton” co-creators and saxophonist Wayne Shorter. For each of the honorees, performers and speakers will deliver segments dedicated to each individual. Get the rundown on the participants and what to expect from the performances below.
For the segment on Reba McEntire, Gold Derby has reported the following lineup: Bobby Bones will deliver the opening remarks. He is a radio personality, who recently took home the win with pro dancer Sharna Burgess on the latest season of Dancing With the Stars. He was the underdog. Kelly Clarkson, who is the wife of McEntire’s stepson, will perform the song “Fancy”. Lady Antebellum will perform “Is There Life Out There”, as well as “The Greatest Man I Never Knew”. Melissa Peterman will deliver remarks, which will be followed by a performance from Broadway and screen star Kristen Chenoweth. Chenoweth will perform “Doin’ What Comes Naturally”. Lastly, Brooks and Dunn will perform “Why Haven’t I Heard From You”.
When it comes to Wayne Shorter’s segment, Jason Moran will be the speaker for the opening remarks. Then, the Wayne Shorter Tribute Jazz Band will perform “Over Shadow Hill Way” and “Joy Ryder”. Herbie Hancock is up next to perform “Footprints”. Then, Hancock will perform again with Esperanza Spaulding for two songs – “Endangered Species” and “Elegant People”. Bernie Williams will deliver more remarks and then Renee Fleming will perform “Aurora Leigh”.
The “Hamilton” segment will kick off with opening remarks from Anthony Ramos. Then, Phillippa Soo, Jasmine Cephas Jones and Renee Elise Goldsberry will perform “Schuyler Sisters”. This will be followed up by “One Last Time” with Christopher Jackson and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Composer Philip Glass will be honored with a lineup of performers and speakers as well. Opening up the segment is opening remarks from Paul Simon. Jon Batiste will then perform “Glassworks” and will be followed up by a performance of “The Grid” from the Philip Glass Ensemble. Anjelique Kidjo will then speak. Annie Clark and Jennifer Koh are set to perform “Osamu’s Theme” and “Knee Play 5”. According to Gold Derby, S. Epatha Merkerson will perform “Einstein on the Beach”.
Cher’s segment will be the final segment of the night and she has an all-star lineup of performers. Whoopi Goldberg will deliver the opening remarks and the first performers will be country band Little Big Town. They will perform “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves”; “I Found Someone”; and “Baby Don’t Go”. Amanda Seyfried, Cher’s co-star in Mamma Mia 2, will speak and Adam Lambert will then perform Cher’s iconic song “Believe”. But, this isn’t the only legendary song of hers to be performed. Next up, Cyndi Lauper will perform “If I Could Turn Back Time”. Then, Lauper and Lambert will team up for a duet performance of the Sonny and Cher hit “I’ve Got You Babe”.