News & Politics

PHOTOS: The 45th Kennedy Center Honors

George Clooney, U2, Gladys Knight, Amy Grant, and Tania León were honored at this year's celebration.

U2 band members Adam Clayton, Bono, The Edge, and Larry Mullen Jr. walk the red carpet at the Kennedy Center last night.
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Party photographer Dan Swartz’s diary of bashes, benefits, and galas.

Actor and filmmaker George Clooney, legendary singers Gladys Knight and Amy Grant, composer, conductor, and educator Tania León, and iconic Irish rock band U2 were all recognized with the nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in the arts yesterday, during the Kennedy Center’s 45th Honors celebration.

Filmed inside the building’s stately red-and-gold Opera House, the event will be televised to the public on Wednesday, December 28 (8-10 p.m. EST/PST), on CBS and also available for live and on-demand viewing on the Paramount+ streaming service.

Sunday’s gala performance actually served as the culminating event to a series of celebratory affairs sprinkled throughout the weekend, which began Saturday with a welcome luncheon at the Kennedy Center and then saw subsequent stops at the State Department (where the honorees received their medals) and White House.

In addition to the famous awardees themselves, Honors weekend always draws an equally impressive crowd of supporters who travel to Washington to help fete their friends.

Amal Clooney and 2022 honoree George Clooney.
2022 honoree Gladys Knight.
2022 honoree Amy Grant.
2022 honoree Tania León.
After yesterday’s performance, guests were treated to a late dinner inside the Kennedy Center’s cavernous Grand Foyer.
Peter Ellefson and Kennedy Center president Deborah Rutter.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and husband Chasten Buttigieg.
Congressman James Clyburn and guest.
Senator Patrick Leahy takes a photograph of the red carpet, as his wife Marcelle Leahy looks on.
2022 honorees from U2 pose for photographs on the red carpet.
Sheryl Crow.
Matt Damon and Luciana Barroso.
CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell (right) with daughter Grace Tracy.
Senator Mitt Romney and Ann Romney.
Julia Roberts wearing a gown covered in photographs of honoree George Clooney.
Fox News chief political anchor Bret Baier and Amy Baier.
Kennedy Center Chairman of the Boards of Trustees David Rubenstein and Caryn Zucker.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and Yvonne Lewis.
Sacha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher.
U2 band member Bono kisses his wife, Ali Hewson.
Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro (right) and Betty Del Toro.
Stephen Kessler and Heather Podesta.
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell.
Dr. Dallas Lea and DeDe Lea (Executive Vice President, Global Public Policy and Government Relations at Paramount).
Maryland Governor-elect Wes Moore, Dawn Moore, Elaine Kamarck, and Congressman Steny Hoyer.
Patti LaBelle.
Valerie Biden Owens and guest.
Amal and George Clooney pose for photographs.
Don Cheadle and Bridgid Coulter.
Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder and Jill Vedder.
Big Bird and CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett greet each other.
The Howard Gospel Choir of Howard University.
John D. Bessler and Senator Amy Klobuchar.
Josh Brubaker and Anna Sitar.
Catherine Shepherd and Brandi Carlile.
Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.
Harald Cordes and CBS News chief White House correspondent Nancy Cordes.
Philanthropist Adrienne Arsht.
Margaret Brennan, moderator for CBS’s “Face The Nation with Margaret Brennan.”
Senator Gary Peters and Colleen Ochoa.
CityCenterDC General Manager Timothy Lowery.
Ambassador Charles Rivkin and Susan Tolson.
Morleigh Steinberg and U2 band member The Edge.
Academy Award-winning actress Ariana DeBose.
British makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury.
Former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos arrives at the Kennedy Center.
The Kennedy Center’s 3,000-pound bust of President John F. Kennedy was backlit in the colors of the Honors award for the night.
Executive Chef Jaime Montes de Oca Jr. checks to make sure each course is properly plated for an honoree table.
2022 honoree The Edge and his family.
Lauren Anne Birchfield and Joe Kennedy III.
CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins.
Joel Frushone and Ashley Davis.
Suzanne Youngkin and Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin.
Gladys Knight’s backing band, The Pips.
Gayle Conelly Manchin and Senator Joe Manchin.
White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield and David Kieve.
J’Nai Bridges.
CBS News senior White House correspondent Weijia Jiang.
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona (middle) arrives at the Kennedy Center.
Carla Sims and Frédéric Yonnet.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and Tanya Mayorkas.
Mickey Guyton.
The hundreds of wait staff, captains, chefs, and beverage directors, managed by Kennedy Center partner Restaurant Associates, required to properly execute a dinner the size of Honors fills a decent portion of the Eisenhower Theater.