The 41st annual Kennedy Center Honors announced its class of 2018 which will include actress and singer Cher.
Composer and pianist Philip Glass, country singer Reba McEntyre and composer and jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter will also be honored.
For the first time in the history of the awards, a special honor will be given to a piece of art instead of an individual. “Hamilton” will be recognized for being “a transformative work that defies category.”
The award will honor the smash hit musical’s creators including writer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Thomas Kail, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler and music director Alex Lacamoire.
“Historically, the Kennedy Center Honors has celebrated lifetime achievement,” Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter said in a statement. “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.”
Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein added in a press release: “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 works across opera, symphony, chamber music, and film define contemporary music and simply transfix us; Country songstress Reba McEntire has inspired us over four decades with her powerhouse voice and music that conveys heartfelt, heart-warming honesty; Wayne Shorter is a seminal artist who, as both a composer and saxophonist, has carried 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.”
It’s still unknown if President Donald Trump will attend the ceremony. Last year, he and first lady Melania Trump didn’t attend the customary White House dinner reception, which was later canceled, after three out of five honorees declined to attend.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at the time that the Trumps had “decided not to participate in this year’s activities to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction.”
The Kennedy Center Honors will take place on Dec. 2 and will be broadcast on Dec. 26 at 8 p.m. on CBS.
They have transformed America’s cultural landscape. Your 2018 Kennedy Center Honorees are @Cher, @PhilipGlass, @Reba, and @Wayne_Shorter, with a special Honors distinction for @HamiltonMusical and its co-creators.
— The Kennedy Center (@kencen) July 25, 2018