News & Politics

PHOTOS: The 44th Kennedy Center Honors

Check out who attended last night's star-studded affair.

2021 Kennedy Center Honoree Berry Gordy, founder of Motown, celebrates on the red carpet.
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Party photographer Dan Swartz’s diary of bashes, benefits, and galas.

The arts world saluted the lifetime achievements of Motown founder Berry Gordy, Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels, stage and screen legend Bette Midler, singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell, and operatic bass-baritone Justino Díaz last night, during the annual gala performance and star-studded affair known as the Kennedy Center Honors.

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, as well as Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, were but a handful of the guests. Also at the black-tie event in the Kennedy Center’s Opera House were Hollywood and Broadway performers, politicos, cabinet secretaries, Washington insiders, billionaire business leaders, journalists, and diplomats.

This year’s celebration comes amid the Kennedy Center’s celebration of its 50th anniversary. The center first made its public debut on September 8, 1971.

Everyone in attendance on Sunday was required to show proof of full vaccination in advance, as well as produce a negative Covid PCR test taken in the past 72 hours. Masks were worn except when eating or drinking or participating in media activities on the red carpet.

The Honors celebration is actually the bookend to a whirlwind weekend of events for the honorees in DC.  On Saturday night, they were formally presented with their rainbow-colored ribbons and medallions at the Library of Congress. And just prior to Sunday’s gala, President Biden hosted a private reception for them at the White House.

CBS will broadcast the 44th annual ceremony on December 22, 2021.

2021 honoree Lorne Michaels
2021 honoree Bette Midler
2021 honoree Justino Díaz
2021 honoree Joni Mitchell and Brandi Carlile
Suzanne de Passe and 2021 honoree Berry Gordy
Chasten Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, and Kenan Thompson
Peter Ellefson and Deborah Rutter, president of the Kennedy Center
Pete Davidson
Dan Levy
Sabrina Mills, Andrew Rubenstein, David M. Rubenstein (Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Kennedy Center), Gabrielle “Ellie” Rubenstein, and Eric McLarty
Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost
Smokey Robinson and Frances Gladney
Bret and Amy Baier
Ellie Goulding
Paul and Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives
Seth Meyers
Amy Poehler and Fred Armisen
Herbie Hancock
Stephen Kessler and Heather Podesta
Kristen Wiig
Kate McKinnon
Robert Riley Skidmore and Ambassador Katherine Tai, United States Trade Representative
Norah O’Donnell
Newt and Callista Gingrich

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