Joni Mitchell and Bette Midler have been honoured by the Kennedy Center
Joni Mitchell, the legendary Canadian singer, made a rare public appearance on Sunday to accept one of the most prestigious awards in the United States of America.
President Joe Biden attended the Kennedy Center Honors as well, following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Donald Trump, who skipped the event during his four-year presidency.
Singers such as Norah Jones and Brittany Howard sang some of Mitchell’s iconic tunes at the occasion. Bette Midler, the actress, and Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown, were also honoured.
The star-studded four-hour gala in Washington, DC, featured Stevie Wonder, who was one of Gordy’s numerous discoveries.
Smokey Robinson, who was discovered by Gordy as a teenager, gave a performance of a song he penned for him. Howard performed Mitchell’s Both Sides Now in tribute to the renowned singer-songwriter, Jones sang The Circle Game and A Case of You, and Brandi Carlile sang River.
Mitchell made her comeback six years after suffering a brain aneurysm. Lorne Michaels, the creator of Saturday Night Live, and opera singer Justino Diaz were among those honoured during the event.
Several awardees vowed to boycott the dinner if Trump attended during his first year in office if he was present, thus Trump did not go.
“It’s good to see the presidential box being occupied once more,” comedian and prior honoree David Letterman said to the crowd.
“To all of the Kennedy Center honorees past and present, thank you for sharing your gift with the nation and with the world, President Biden said.”
For his buddy Michaels, Paul Simon sang America, while for Diaz, soprano Denyce Graves delivered portions of Carmen and Faust.
Due to the coronavirus epidemic, the 2020 gala has been cancelled. For last year’s honorees, which included folk singer Joan Baez and actor Dick Van Dyke, the centre conducted a series of smaller, socially isolated events in May.