Bonnie Raitt-Tracy Chapman-Jeff Beck-Beth Hart And Others 2012 Kennedy Center Honors
Bonnie Raitt and Friends
This is one of those videos that make you wanna stand up and start bopping. It’s probably easier to list all the people that are not in the video.
Stars from New York, Hollywood and the music world joined President Barack Obama at the White House on Sunday night to salute the honorees, whose ranks also include actor Dustin Hoffman, Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy and ballerina Natalia Makarova.
The honors are the nation’s highest award for those who influenced American culture through the arts. The recipients were later saluted by fellow performers at the Kennedy Center Opera House.
Obama drew laughs from his guests when he described the honorees as “some extraordinary people who have no business being on the same stage together.”
Noting that Guy made his first guitar strings using the wire from a window screen, he quipped, “That worked until his parents started wondering how all the mosquitoes were getting in.”
The president thanked the members of Led Zeppelin for behaving themselves at the White House given their history of “hotel rooms trashed and mayhem all around.”
Obama noted Letterman’s humble beginnings as an Indianapolis weatherman who once reported the city was being pelted by hail `the size of canned hams.'”
“It’s one of the highlights of his career,” he said.
All kidding aside, Obama described all of the honorees as artists who “inspired us to see things in a new way, to hear things differently, to discover something within us or to appreciate how much beauty there is in the world.”
For Buddy Guy, singers Bonnie Raitt, Tracy Chapman and others got most of the crowd on its feet singing Guy’s signature “Sweet Home Chicago.”
Morgan Freeman hailed Guy as a pioneer who helped bridge soul and rock and roll.
“When you hear the blues, you really don’t think of it as black or white or yellow or purple or blue,” Freeman said. “Buddy Guy, your blue brought us together.”
Jack Black declared Zeppelin the “greatest rock and roll band of all time.”
“That’s right. Better than the Beatles. Better than the Stones. Even better than Tenacious D,” he said. “And that’s not opinion – that’s fact.”
For the finale, Heart’s Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson sang “Stairway to Heaven,” accompanied by a full choir and Jason Bonham, son of the late Zeppelin drummer John Bonham.
Zeppelin front man Robert Plant and his bandmates John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page seemed moved by the show.