The Kennedy Center Announces 2018 Honorees

Cher, Philip Glass, Reba McEntire, Wayne Shorter, and the creators of Hamilton will be honored on Wednesday, Dec. 26.
Posted on Jul 25, 2018 | 08:00am
It's time once again for The Kennedy Center Honors to celebrate some of the most accomplished and influential American artists. 

Recognized for their contributions to American culture through the performing arts—whether in dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures, or television—the primary criterion in the selection process is just one thing: excellence. 

The Kennedy Center Honors announced today that its honorees for 2018 will be actress Cher, composer and pianist Philip Glass, country music entertainer Reba McEntire, and jazz saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter

Additionally, the co-creators of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Hamilton—writer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Thomas Kail, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, and music director Alex Lacamoire—will receive a unique Kennedy Center Honors as trailblazing creators of a transformative work that defies category. 

These artists will be saluted by today's leading performers from New York, Hollywood, and the arts capitals of the world, accepting the recognition and gratitude of their peers through performances and tributes in a star-studded celebration that will air on Wednesday, Dec. 26 at 8/7c on CBS and CBS All Access

"The Kennedy Center Honors recognizes exceptional artists who have made an enduring and indelible mark on our culture," stated Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein.

He continued, "Cher is the consummate star, wowing generations of fans with her distinctive voice, blockbuster albums, and glittering on-screen presence; Philip Glass is a modern-day Mozart whose work across opera, symphony, chamber music, and film define contemporary music and simply transfix us; country songstress Reba McEntire has inspired us over five decades with her powerhouse voice and music that conveys heartfelt, heartwarming honesty; Wayne Shorter is a seminal artist, defying categorization while carrying forward the mantle of jazz; and the creators of Hamilton have literally and figuratively changed the face of American culture with daringly original, breathtakingly relevant work."

"The world looks to America for its creative instincts and artistic courage. This year's slate of Honorees represents the pinnacle of our nation's originality and the rich mosaic of diverse perspectives and art forms that has come to define who we are as a people," said Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter.

"As the national cultural center, the Kennedy Center is guided by its artistic mission to pay tribute to the past, to offer a platform for artists making transformative impact in the present, and to shepherd creative innovators as we look toward the future," Ms. Rutter continued. "Historically, the Kennedy Center Honors has celebrated lifetime achievement. In recognizing Hamilton and its co-creators, the Kennedy Center is making an unprecedented statement about an unprecedented work—a work that transcends cultural boundaries and tells America's story in a powerful and contemporary way."

For more on the history of The Kennedy Center Honors, visit their website.

Cher photo courtesy of Cher; Philip Glass photo by Danny Clinch Photography Studio; Reba McEntire photo by Justin McIntosh; Wayne Shorter photo by Robert Ashcroft.

Watch the 41st Annual Kennedy Center Honors on Wednesday, Dec. 26 at 8/7c on CBS and CBS All Access.