Oprah Winfrey, Paul McCartney, Merle Haggard All Receiving Kennedy Center Honors
Wed, 08 Sep 2010 12:22:30
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The Kennedy Center announced Tuesday that Oprah Winfrey, Sir Paul McCartney and Merle Haggard, along with dancer-choreographer Bill T. Jones and composer-lyricist Jerry Herman of Hello, Dolly! fame, will be receiving this year's prestigious Kennedy Center Honors. While the awards are traditionally bestowed upon performing artists, which Oprah is not, this is not the first time a non-performer nabbed the accolade.
In 1993, late-night television host Johnny Carson was selected, breaking the long line of honorees who were strictly traditional performing artists. The Washington Post quoted Oprah as saying, "This feels like an official American citizenship in a very exclusive club of artists and contributors to the nation in a very special way. It feels like an elevated kind of award and there aren't many in this category. They look at your work, your life work, who you are as a human being and the spirit of who you are as a human being. Not many honors look at that depth," about her selection.
David M. Rubenstein, the center's chairman, talked about the "cultural vibrancy" of all five honorees. "For more than 25 years, Oprah Winfrey has established one of the most innovative careers in the entertainment world, with distinctive accomplishments in television and film," he said.
Do you think Oprah's selection makes sense? Or should Kennedy Center Honors be reserved strictly for performing artists as is standard?